Happy Birthday Nicolas Cage

Lily Cameron

Cover image: Ady Neshoda | @adyneshoda

 

Nicolas Cage has gifted this world so much, most of which are reaction images used in group chats. After 55 years on earth, Cage has created an impressive oeuvre of films to go along with his interesting facial expressions. In ode to him, on today — the day of his birth — we watched six of his most iconic movies, so you don’t have to. 

Caution: (mild) spoilers ahead!

 

 

 

 

National Treasure

 

 

Like a true Capricorn, Nicolas in this movie is patient and disciplined, but with a bit of a stubborn streak. It’s pretty predictable, with some bizarre dialogue choices, and a laughable hetero romantic subplot (there’s a 12 year age gap between old Nic and Diane Kruger, and also she’s an actual model). That being said, it’s a brainlessly fun movie that you can watch on the couch while cruising Instagram without missing much.

Best line: “I’m gonna steal the Declaration of Independence.”

 

 

 

Raising Arizona

 

 

My dad says this movie is ‘quirky’, and although you wouldn’t think a film by the Coen Brothers that’s essentially about kidnapping would be too zany, it really is. One of the most exciting parts is listening to Holly Hunter, who voiced Elastigirl, say her lines and pretend it’s the path Mrs Incredible could have gone down if she made her living stealing babies instead of superheroing.

Best line: I’ll be taking these Huggies and whatever cash ya got.”

 

 

 

Kick-Ass

 

 

I honestly forgot Nicolas Cage was in this movie, although after watching it again, the scene where he basically melts to death should have given it away. He plays a character called Big Daddy (ew) with a genuinely moving backstory that serves to humanise him, but not so far that I don’t resent him for turning his daughter into an assassin at the expense of her childhood. Also, that cute boy from Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging is in this!

Best line: “Tool up, honey bunny. It’s time to get bad guys.”

 

 

 

Ghost Rider

 

 

Watching this movie feels like astral-projecting into the body of a 14-year-old boy. Best paired with a litre of Passiona and several bags of chips, Ghost Rider boasts an impressive combination of stunt motorcycle riding, demon bounty hunting, and kissing with Eva Mendes. As if this weren’t enough to convince you, Spiderbait is on the soundtrack.

Best line: “Yeah I’m good, feels like my skull’s on fire, but I’m good.”

 

 

 

Moonstruck

 

 

A lot of the characterisation of Nicolas’ character in Moonstruck rests on him yelling, being sweaty, having chest hair, and baking bread. However, Cher’s performance was the source of most of my enjoyment of this film. Moonstruck is a classic underdog romance: girl meets boy, boy proposes to girl, boy causes brother to lose hand in freak baking accident, brother yells at girl a lot, girl and brother fall in love. A tale as old as time.

Best line: I ain’t no freakin’ monument to justice!”

 

 

 

Adaptation

 

 

Alright, alright. This movie is actually good. Like, really good. Nicolas plays both a fixated, tortured writer (who can relate?) who is tasked with converting a book into a screenplay, as well as his own twin brother. It is genre defying, full of double and triple bluffs that leave you on the edge of your seat and totally absorbed. It does, however, feel like a strange fever dream watching Nicolas interact with himself for two hours, but I guess that’s just what you come to expect.

Best line: “I need a cool way to kill people. Don’t worry, for my script.”