Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two Nicolas Cage Movies: Bangkok Dangerous, Lord of War

It's always interesting to see someone at their craft. When a movie brings you into a different world, or in this case job, we get to go somewhere we've never been.

Nicolas Cage is a hitman in Bangkok Dangerous, but he's tired. Tired of being alone, eating alone, talking to no one except for lackeys whom he will later kill. You can see how this would get to be old. So he plans one last job -- actually, four of them, all in Bangkok. No rules, dense Bangkok.

This has been done before (e.g., Pierce Brosnan in The Matador), and this really isn't a different take on it, except that we feel sorry for him, even a little bit, as he seems as trapped in his profession as any of us. Cage's hitman deals with his loneliness in a different way, taking on a student, a slick Thai messenger who has a few of his own tricks.

There are surprisingly few exciting action scenes in this movie. And the denouement, the big battle at the end of the flick, is Bangkok Boring.

Lord of War features Nicolas Cage as a gun dealer.

"Can you get me a gun like Rambo?"
"Rambo 1, 2 or 3?" Cage asks.
Looking worried, the soldier answers, "I've only seen 1."
Cage: "Ah, the M-16."

Dialogue is sharp like this, very funny, almost all the way through. Plot, schmlot. Who cares? Bring on the guns. Tell us how billions of dollars worth of weapons, tanks, etc., left the Ukraine after the Cold War ended. How countries of Africa became the recipients. Fascinating.

And there's a brilliant montage in the beginning, as the credits roll, showing the journey of a bullet. The journey Cage's character takes in this story, the story of an arms dealer when government agents are barreling down on him, is just as interesting.

Thumb's up for Lord of War, thumb's down for Bangkok Dangerous.


At 2:18 PM, Blogger Adar said...

"Plot, shmlot" -- it's so much fun watching movies with you!


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