'Rage' is just another tired Nicolas Cage action film

'Rage' review: Haven't we seen this angry Nicolas Cage before?

"Rage" is the latest in a parade of cheesy, derivative action-thrillers that erstwhile A-list actor Nicolas Cage has recently starred in, presumably as a quick cash grab. Why he can't find an equal payday in better pictures is perhaps a less vital question than how exactly the Academy Award-winner got to this dubious point in his career.

Cage slums it again here as Paul Maguire, a former gangster-turned-"respectable businessman" whose teenage daughter, Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples), is abducted and soon found dead. Thinking her murder is somehow connected to his illicit past, the grieving Paul rounds up his old partners in crime — bar owner Kane (Max Ryan) and all-around screw-up Doherty (Michael McGrady) — to, er, supplement the efforts of local authorities.

Although a friendly detective (et tu, Danny Glover?), Paul's too-young trophy wife (Rachel Nichols) and his shady ex-boss (Peter Stormare) all exhort the revenge-seeking Paul to back off, Paul and his crew start shooting up the town in search of Caitlin's killers. But when evidence points to Russian mobster Chernov (Pasha D. Lychnikoff) as the possible perpetrator — for reasons connected to a dark chapter in Paul's past — the corpses start piling up in particularly dumb and brutal fashion.

There's a late-breaking twist that might seem impressive if it didn't make all the previous mayhem feel so intensely pointless. But by then, between Paco Cabezas' ham-fisted direction, some truly bad dialogue and weak plotting by writers Jim Agnew and Sean Keller, the generic Mobile, Ala., locations and Cage's signature over-emoting, the ship has already sailed — and sunk.


No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.

At AMC's Burbank Town Center 8. Also on VOD.

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