Between Daniel Day Lewis, Tom Hanks, and Nicolas Cage there is a combined 6 Best Actor Oscars. Not bad for a guy whose middle name is Kim. Nic Cage has been one of the most influential actors for the past 20 somewhat years. His seemingly random outbursts and terrible accents paved the way for Netflix to make every awful, plotless movie of his more accessible to you and I. He used to put asses in seats and without further ado we analyze the top performances of his career. (Of movies I’ve seen. I know he won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas but I’ve never seen it so yeah, it’s not on the list.)
Cameron Poe – Con Air
What a role. The California native is thrust into this gritty drama centering around a bunch of convicts who stole a plane. His almost unlistenable southern accent makes this one of his best roles to date. The first day of shooting he probably showed up without an accent because Nic Cage doesn’t have time to read scripts due to the fact he has 15 movies come out every year on Netflix. The director calls him over and says “Nic we need you to do a southern accent it says it clearly in the script”. Cage being the no-nonsense method actor that he is, immediately breaks out into the accent you hear in the final cut. The director falls to his knees, birds fly away, global warming ceases for a moment, as the character Cameron Poe is wished into existence. No signature Nic Cage freak outs in this but still a solid and steady performance, maybe not Oscar worthy but right below it in the snub category. (P.S. Cyrus the Virus is a bonkers nickname, like no wonder he stole that plane how could you not with a name like that.)
Benjamin Franklin Gates – National Treasure I & II
Holy shit this had to be Cage’s Mona Lisa. His crown jewel. The fact there isn’t a third one yet to complete the trilogy is why Blockbuster went out of business. 2004 was a great year, I just turned 9 years old and was still very confused at all aspects of life. I talked to more girls back then I have in the last 2 years but that is besides the point. I was pretty fast when I was 9 but I found another gear when Ben Gates first saw the Charlotte. When he clears off the plaque that says “here lies the Charlotte” I sprinted around the movie theater like Tom Cruise in any movie he’s ever been in. Minutes later I immediately shit myself because I thought my hero was about to be killed. That fuck Sean Bean is so lucky he became Ned Stark because it takes a lot of balls to betray Nicolas Kim Coppola. That is his birth name by the way. The rest of the two movies are just a whirlwind of fast paced cerebral battles as well as Nic Cage running a lot. What a stride he has, they say he can cover a football field in 3 strides. Wow. The iconic “I’m going to steal the declaration of Independence” should be in DC right next to the actual Declaration of Independence. He finds the treasure gives it all back to charity, then gets the girl. I mean he was living the American Dream. And then he comes right back and finds another fucking big ass treasure this time in all gold. Jesus who is this guys financial advisor. Any dude who can outwit Sean Bean and Ed Harris in consecutive movies is a dude I want on my team when it all goes down. Good on you Benjamin Franklin Gates, can’t wait for the third one.
Castor Troy – Face/Off
First off, I think John Travolta is a bigger nut than even Nicolas Cage. All downhill from Danny Zuco and then back up for Pulp Fiction then he got a happy ending massage and I don’t even know. Great thing about this movie is the range that Cage exhibits in his character. He got tired of just being him so he fucks around and halfway through the movie shape shifts into an exact replica of John Travolta. He hoodwinked scientology, himself, and most importantly John Travolta’s wife. Cuck would be a better name for him in this movie but I digress. Is it even considered cuckholding if the woman still thinks it is her husband? Granted she would know right away because I would bet the $400 I have in my bank account right now that Nic is a seasoned vet in between the sheets while Travolta is still playing tee-ball. Travolta may be a scientologist but he’s really a missionary man, oh yeah pun intended. I don’t think the story really matters for this one just seeing Nic Cage become John Travolta was enough for me but he’s definitely got a lot of freak outs in here that were nice to see.
Memphis Raines – Gone in 60 seconds
Sorry Paul Walker (RIPIP) and Vin Diesel but this was the real fast and furious. You guys can have your little drag races for money and street cred while Nic Cage steals 800 cars to save his shit head of a brother. And I thought I had family problems (LOL not really but maybe I could steal a lighter or something if my brother was really in deep.) Memphis Raines is Ben Gates, Castor Troy and Cameron Poe all in one. The guy is shagging Angelina Jolie in her prime, he’s taking on the mob and the FBI at the same damn time and is dragging Robert Duvall’s walking corpse along for the ride. I dare Dale Earnhardt to pull off some shit like that, no way he could do it. Only one man could pull off that feat and it is Memphis Raines. Incredible name to if we’re being honest.
Honorable Mentions: That role where he screams at the secretary about the Alphabet, Chris Johnson in Next, Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider, any movie where he yells a lot.