(director/writer: Dimitri Logothetis; screenwriter: James McGrath; cinematographer: Gerardo Madrazo; editor: Danny McDonald; music: Adam Dorn; cast: Alain Moussi (Jake), Nicolas Cage (Wylie), Raymond Pinharry (Fisherman), Rick Yune (Captain Sand), Frank Grillo (Harrigan), Juju Chan (Carmen), Marie Avgeropoulos (Myra), Tony Jaa (Keung), Ryan Tarran (Brax), Eddie Steeples (Tex), Marrese Crump (Forbes); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Dimitri Logothetis, Martin J. Barab, Chris Economides; Green Olive Films; 2020)
“This is the kind of badass sci-fi/action film you would expect Nic Cage to be in and sure enough he’s in it.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This is the kind of badass sci-fi/action film you would expect Nic Cage to be in and sure enough he’s in it. Of the few Cage films I’ve seen, this is possibly his worst. Dimitri Logothetis (“Wings of the Dragon”/”The Lost Angel”) directs and James McGrath writes the story. The bizarre and inept film for some reason is shot in Cypress. It plays out as if it is an unimaginative videogame.
After Jake Barnes (Alain Moussi) is chased in the forest by an invisible force, he jumps from a cliff and hits his head on a rock when landing in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Myanmar. The next thing we know the super soldier wakes up in a U.S. military outpost after rescued by villagers. The amnesia vic is questioned by the Intelligence Officer Myra (Marie Avgeropoulos). Since these two have nothing more to say to each other, Jake is snatched by a band of martial arts people — Harrigan (Frank Grillo), Kueng (Tony Jaa), and Carmen (JuJu Chan) — who apparently know him. This seems like a good spot for Nic Cage to pop up wearing a paper hat as the hermit named Wylie, and he turns out to be the mentor of Jake. He briefs the vic as to what the hell is going down in the story by giving him the plot points. It seems every six years a comet passes over that opens a portal, and from the portal emerges an alien. This alien must battle nine warriors as it tries to destroy the world. This story-line makes about as much sense as Trump’s declaring victory even though he had less votes in the electoral college than Biden.
We’re left to wonder if super soldier Jake can save the world and make it great again. All I can say is I just loved the heck out of the “warrior spirit,” the alien humanoid, Brax (Ryan Tarran), who is costumed in a suit with a mask-screen that plays different images and who returns every six years though defeated each time.
To make the viewer’s experience an even more terrible one, there’s frequent slo-mo action and the cameras are sometimes mounted on the actors making the screen blurry for the badly choreographed fight scenes.
The performances, including Cage’s cameo, range from muted to frantic, and are just dreadful. But if your interest in this very, very bad film is just to see Cage go ‘unhinged,’ you will be rewarded for your bad judgment with such a sighting (even if Nic is less unhinged than usual).
REVIEWED ON 11/25/2020 GRADE: D