Sunday, 26 August 2012

Stolen Trailer Examination (a.k.a Nicolas Cage does 'Taken' and why that is a terrible idea)

I was alerted only minutes ago to the existence of this movie by a single picture I shall post below this paragraph in a second. My utter disbelief to this picture was so severe that I believed it a hoax, that surely this movie has not been made, there is no way a studio would green-light that, and then I saw that damn trailer above.

I give you, the picture that ruined my day in one fell swoop.

Now I'm probably the closest thing Nicolas Cage has left to a fan at this point, I've seen an inordinate amount of his films, I think I'm the only person I know who liked Bad lieutenant, and I even rocked up to such terrible mistakes as Season of the Witch and Ghost Rider 2 in a vain attempt to bolster his flagging career with some profits (Or I really enjoy a bad Nicolas Cage film). So why aren't I happy about this, this looks like the definition of a terrible Nicolas Cage film. It has all the components.

  1. Nicolas Cage being the only actor of note (The closest thing to another actor of note is the guy who played the main character in the god awful Poseidon remake)
  2. A half famous actress as the lead lady who has only been in one thing of note, and sucked in that, despite what the Saturn Awards said.
  3. Rumours of several other more popular actors being attached to the project before hand.
  4. A mid-low budget action movie with very little publicity around it.
But it has another component that no Nicolas Cage film should ever have to resort to, being flat out (and excuse the pun I can think of literally no other word right now) stolen from the more successful, well received  Movie, Taken.

Other than Battleship, Liam Neeson has been aging with relative grace.

Now on that poster it says 'From the director of Expendables 2". Naturally not overly caring who the director of Expendables 2 was, I endeavoured to find out with a 3 second Google search.

4 seconds later (bad internet) I was shocked to discover that it was flagging action movie Stalwart Simon West. Maker of one of the best Nicolas Cage films in his zenith, and so consequently quite a good film in general, Con-Air.

Now this presented me with a double Shock. Shock 1: Simon West has sunk to Stolen?! And Shock 2: Simon West sunk to the Expendables 2 without me knowing it?! After a brief moment of recuperation, I realised that after the Mechanic, it probably wasn't over surprising that Mr West was still falling, I had the misfortune of being one of only like, 4 people in the country who actually watched the Mechanic in the cinema, and so I feel I can stand testament. 

I plan to see the Expendables 2, though I'm not sure when, and until that point I won't be discussing it in much detail, but we can definitely go back to Stolen and talk about how that is a terrible idea...Well good, glad we got out the way. But seriously, look at that trailer, go on, look. I don't care if you looked once, again. 

There is a scene where he goes to find his daughter, and he is holding a teddy bear. And of course at 59 seconds in we have his daughter screaming whilst on the floor, not doubt about to be dragged away. There is of course, a tense conversation between the hero and the kidnapper, done over the phone to tense music. And at 1:06 where Nicolas Cage says the most emotionless "my daughter" of all. Now I'll level with you, I didn't overly enjoy Taken, but I can appreciate what this is, formulaic film making, and here is the formula.

Take Popular Action Concept + Failing semi-action star x in decline action director - any sort of substantial budget or script = profit. 

This whole thing reeks of design by committee, depressingly though, I will probably be watching it, if only so I can review it, and silence those who might be deranged enough to think I'm attacking this unjustly. (Oh, and of course, I love a good Nicolas Cage film.