July 11, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Review: Cage's 'Rage' is rotten from beginning to end

Max Ryan, left, Nicholas Cage and Michael McGrady star in 'Rage.' (Hannibal Classics)

“Rage” is a relentless mess of a film, moving from stilted dialogue to countless scenes of senseless violence with plenty of irrelevant side stories along the way.

Of course it stars Nicolas Cage, an actor who has either given up on his script choices, gone completely tone deaf or decided he’s just plain in it for the money. It doesn’t really matter which (or what combination). What matters is the work. And the work here is terrible.

Cage plays Paul Maguire, a real estate developer with a murky gangster past. For 15 years now he’s been straight. He has a lovely (and as required for all aging male stars, much younger) wife (Rachel Nichols) and a daughter (Aubrey Peeples) about to turn 16.

Then one night he comes home to the news that thugs broke into his house, kidnapped his daughter and beat up two of her friends. So Maguire does what any loving father would do — he asks two old gangster friends (Max Ryan, Michael McGrady) to look into it.

They terrorize a few innocent people, but turn up nothing. Then the daughter’s dead body is found. So Maguire does the next thing any loving father would do — he goes on a rampage, attacking and killing anyone he suspects might be involved.

And that’s pretty much the movie — Nicolas Cage attacking people. Shooting people, stabbing people, punching people. None of these people have anything to do with his daughter’s death, but who cares?

Which sounds pretty bad, but really it’s much, much worse. Director Paco Cabezas and writers Jim Agnew and Sean Keller have no sense of rhythm in dialogue and repeatedly just throw logic out the door.

Maguire leads the cops on a car chase that sees one patrol car explode in flames while causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages, and afterward the cops just let Maguire go so he can kill some more people who had nothing to do with his daughter’s death. You bet.

It’s hard to say this is the worst film Nicolas Cage has ever made — there are just too many contenders to choose from. But it’s near the bottom.

'Rage'

GRADE: D

Not rated

Running time: 92 minutes

tlong@detroitnews.com
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