I’ve always loved Nicolas Cage. Moonstruck, Raising Arizona, City of Angels, Adaptation – who doesn’t love those movies? I even forgave him for National Treasure because I liked Matchstick Men so much (although I am a sucker for a con movie). I’ve always admired how he can bring out the humanity of any character. So talented, such range, but lately I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend in his career particularly after watching the newly released Kick-Ass DVD.
It may even have started with the con man character I enjoyed in Matchstick Men, but it wasn’t a trend until he followed it up with a superhero/vigilante in Ghost Rider and an assassin in Bangkok Dangerous. Movies are fiction but Cage’s personal history follows the same disturbing trend. He named his son Kal-El, after Superman, and changed his own name to Nicolas Cage after the Marvel Comics superhero Luke Cage. Cut to Kick-Ass, a perfectly acceptable movie about a kid who decides to turn himself into a superhero. Cute, funny in an off-color way, and quirky. The lead character an unknown, at least to me, but Nick was going to make an appearance – a definite bonus. Then it happens, Nick appears, he’s accompanied by a daughter and they are both home-grown superheroes. Okay. His character also writes a comic book. Really?!? Little known fact – the real-life Nicolas Cage has also written a comic book, Voodoo Child. Suddenly I see it – Kick-Ass isn’t fiction at all – it’s actually Cage’s version of a reality movie. He’s living out his personal fantasy life right on the screen in front of me. I hate reality shows. Nicolas, how could you do this to your fans? To me? I feel betrayed. I sob, I curse the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, but in the end, I watch the movie and love it. After all Chloë Moretz, the girl who plays Nicolas’s superhero daughter, is fabulous – the type of actress who can bring out the humanity of her character. And in this case, the character’s humanity really is kick-ass.