Summer of Nicolas Cage Movie # 11: The Rock

1996 wrestler biopic

Rating: 10/20

Plot: A disgruntled high-ranking marine steals some Gungun bombs and heads over to Alcatraz, now a tourist attraction. He kidnaps a handful of tourists and threatens to use his new biological weapon if he's not sent a zillion dollars. Chemical weapons expert Nicolas Cage and prison-escape expert Sean Connery, the latter being the only man to ever escape from the titular rock, sneak onto the island with some Navy Seals to try to thwart the terrorist's plans.

OK. Rest assured I really pay attention any time Nicolas Cage is on the screen, and that's doubly true when there's a Nicolas Cage sex scene. Some things I've noted: all the Nic Cage sex scenes I can remember feature The Jackhammer or Cowgirl, woman-on-top for you squares. And Nic always has a look on his face like he doesn't really care what's going on. In The Rock, he gets to be bored by coitus with somebody named Vanessa Marcil after telling her that "Pigtails are naughty, naughty, naughty" in an accent that could have been an audio outtake from Vampire's Kiss, a much better Nicolas Cage movie in which he gets to be bored by The Jackhammer while the Cowgirl devours his neck.

When Cage the actor doesn't know what to do but knows his character is a little ticked off, he reaches for the best tool in his repertoire: the blah blah blah blah blah (dramatic pause) BLAH BLAH, enunciating each blah and screaming each BLAH like he's trying to melt your face off.

"This isn't HAPPENING!"
"What do you say we cut the chit-chat (dramatic pause) A-HOLE?!" I'm not censoring that. He actually said "A-HOLE?!"
"What do you say you cut me some (dramatic pause) FRIGGIN' SLACK?!"
"How in the name of (short dramatic pause) ZEUS'S BUTTHOLE. . ."
"It might help our current situation (big dramatic pause) MAYBE!"

He throws in a few well-goshes like he's Keanu Reeves, and with his older thespian peers, plows through some really predictable and clumsy dialogue and some silly jokes. Speaking of his co-stars, I've got to admit that I don't actually like Sean Connery most of the time or Ed Harris almost all of the time. Ed Harris is a lame bad guy, and the writers of The Rock (an anthropomorphic cash register and an anthropomorphic stick of dynamite) apparently decided that making him and his motivations really inconsistent would help give his character some depth. Sean Connery looks like he's in this just to collect his paycheck as he stumbles through some jerky handheld action sequences and manages to survive, as you know he would since his face is really big on the poster, while improbabilities are piled on more improbabilities. Gigantic action, a gigantic Hans Zimmer score, gigantic sound effects, and gigantic special effects might have some people reaching for their popcorn, but it just makes me wonder how in the name of Zeus's butthole anybody could forgive the predictability and cliches enough to give this action clunker a passing grade.

I apologize for all the Nicolas Cage sex talk. I'll try to control myself as the Summer of Nicolas Cage continues.


Barry said...

This is the only Michael Bay directed movie to get at least 60% on Rotten Tomatoes. I actually enjoyed it which is kind of surprising. First of all Vanessa Marcil is freaking hot. Second of all, Sean Connery is one of the few actors to ever live who can dominate a scene with Nick Cage in it. I dont think of this as a Cage film, and I bet thats why you did not enjoy it much. Its a Connery film...and this is not the Summer of Sean.

Its a mostly harmless film with some nice scenes in it. I give it a 15.

Shane said...

I see your point, but I don't think that's the reason I didn't like it.

Maybe Summer of 2042 can be the Summer of Sean.

cory said...

Just what I was talking about in "V For Vendetta". They are trying to blow up a stadium, but you know they won't succeed, so what's the point in pretending they will. Just once, I want to see 60,000 die. They do it in alien invasion movies! I also remember this as being the first Bay/Ridley Scott/frantically shot/music video style movies, which wasn't a good development. A 12.