Friday, July 21, 2017

ARMY OF ONE (2016)

Directed By: Larry Charles 
Written By: Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman 
Cinematography By: Anthony Hardwick 
Editor: Christian Kinnard 

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Russell Brand, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Paul Scheer, Will Sasso, Rainn Wilson, Denis O’Hare 

Frustrated with the U.S. Government for its fruitless efforts to bring down Al-Qaeda's leader Osama Bin Laden, the eccentric middle-aged, part-time construction worker Gary Faulkner, after a personal visit by God himself, takes the decision to embark on an adventure in the badlands of Pakistan to get the job done. With the intention to bloodlessly capture and bring the infamous, yet, elusive leader to justice, Colorado's former handyman turned vigilante, will overlook his problems with diabetes and meticulously prepare for the long and perilous journey. Between reality and pre-dialysis hallucinations, armed only with a telescope, katana and a Stars and Stripes hang glider, this American samurai on a mission from God is determined to take matters into his own hands and succeed at any cost. Is he a hero or a crackpot?

More and more One finds themselves every few months coming across new Nicolas Cage movies and finding it hard to resist. usually end up catching them one way or another. Watching them more like a car crash. Though he usually keeps things interesting by his performances. Even though the movies are usually terrible themselves. Though I have to say this might be one of the worst.

Not that one was expecting too much better, but was hoping for some kind of entertainment.

This is a perfect title not only to sum up the plot of the movie but also the movie in general. As the film seems more like a one man show. The film is a slice of life crazy news story that is interesting as a novelty more than anything. Something that makes for a good article bit not enough to hold an audiences attention for a whole movie.

As the film follows and stays with Nicolas Cage's character throughout the film. No matter how annoying his character gets. Which he gets to be often and fast.

All the characters react around him, but have no real personalities or traits of their own. Their role here is more to just listen and react.

Larry Charles directed the film and in his work he is used to doing films based more on one man's comedic character or personality In Films such as BORAT and BRUNO. As well as episodes of the Larry David series CURB YUR ENTHUSIASM. Here he tries to do the same thing with Nicolas Cage and his performance as this eccentric colorful character and it doesn't work. It often gets boring and repetitive.

The film would probably work better if the personality was stronger or the audience could enjoy his hijinks more. As maybe they could be more structured and interesting. At least complex with some set up. As it is understandable that this is based on a true story but there is some room to embellish and make the story and character more entertaining.

The character here would work more in a skit but for a film he is grating. One credit Nicolas cage for his commitment. As he seems to relish in using a cranky voice and playing this character to the hilt. Though it seems all for nothing except that the film seems to be a showcase for him and his acting.

The film seems to be low budget. As one of the locations are picturesque nor flattering and the visuals come off as flat and dull.

The film just keeps going and going. You never know or really care where it is going.

The only time the film seems to come partly alive is when Russell brand makes his cameos as the vision of god he keeps having or it might be hallucinations. Even he knows how to keep it quick and light here.

I would only suggest this film if you have to watch it. As some kind of Nicolas Cage fan and a completist of his work. Other than that you can freely miss it and stay away. It feels like a waste of time.

Grade: F

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