Rage

 
(i)

 

Violent, downbeat thriller is a low point for Nicolas Cage.
  • Review Date: July 11, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie is about a criminal who's gone straight, but he isn't really rewarded for his efforts. Revenge is a major motivation. Characters who jump to conclusions are punished. Otherwise, viewers might be warned about leaving guns and/or alcohol around the house.

Positive role models

The main character is a criminal who now leads a straight-arrow life, though he still hangs onto his underworld contacts and is still prone to criminal behavior. No one else in the movie is of interest.

Violence

Violence includes heavy but not realistic (or very bloody), fighting, punching, shooting, slicing, and stabbing with knives, chases on foot and in cars, and explosions. Teens are shown playing with guns, with dire results. In one scene, some thugs torment a girl to get information from her boyfriend. (They tie a rope around her neck, attach the rope to a brick, and toss the brick out the window.) A male character is tortured, tied up, and punched with brass knuckles. Characters die, including a teen.

Sex

In two scenes, a husband and wife kiss passionately and get excited, but they stop before having sex. Strong sexual innuendo. A scene takes place in a strip club, but no nudity is shown (though women do dance in skimpy outfits on stage).

Language

"F--k" is used at least once. "S--t" is used a few times. "D--k," "slut," "damn," "hell," and "f----t" are heard. A middle finger gesture is shown.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens are shown drinking and getting drunk at a small house party. A woman is shown to be high on some unknown drug and barely functional. Adult characters are briefly shown drinking socially. Mentions of meth, pot, and cocaine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rage is a revenge thriller starring Nicolas Cage. The violence, while frequent and often over-the-top, doesn't have much blood. But there's lots of fighting, punching, shooting, slashing and stabbing with knives, car chases, foot chases, and explosions. Viewers also see some scenes of torture (a man is hung by his wrists and punched with brass knuckles; a rope is tied to a girl's neck and a brick, and the brick is thrown out the window), and a teen is kidnapped and dies. A woman who's apparently high on drugs, is treated roughly in one scene. Many drugs are mentioned by name, and teens are shown drinking -- and playing with guns -- with dire results. Language includes one use of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t," plus "d--k," "slut," and more. Sexual content includes some passionate kissing from a married couple, some innuendo, and scantily clad women dancing at a strip club.

What's the story?

After the death of his first wife, former criminal Paul Maguire (Nicolas Cage) has gone straight in an effort to raise his daughter Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples) correctly. Now a teen, his daughter is starting to ask to spend time with her friends, and Paul reluctantly agrees. While he and his second wife, Vanessa (Rachel Nichols), are out one night, they get the news that Caitlin has been kidnapped. Paul immediately begins considering his old enemies in the Russian mafia, trying to decide which one might have done such a thing. When the stakes are raised, he goes back to his old gang and dispatches them into the underworld, ordering them to do anything to find out what really happened. But Paul just might go too far ... and still miss looking in the right place.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

RAGE is certainly a low point (albeit not the only one -- or the lowest one) in Cage's career. The actor is one of our best at coming unhinged onscreen, but director Paco Cabezas somehow keeps things somewhat muted. It feels like the dynamic, volatile actor is on auto-pilot, and the rest of the movie doesn't do much to back him up. Likewise, the terrific Nichols and Danny Glover feel as if they're just trying to get through each shot.

Characters rarely seem like living, breathing organisms, and they sometimes don't even appear to be reacting to one another, as if they weren't even in the room together. Even when the characters weep, it seems on cue. The plot is both confusing and ridiculous. It throws in so many characters and character names that it's difficult to keep track of who's doing what and why. Then the final reveal boils down to something so dumb that it's difficult to believe that these so-called professionals didn't figure it out sooner.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Rage's violence. How much is shown or not shown? How did it affect you? Is it exciting/thrilling or downbeat? What's the difference?

  • What's the appeal of a revenge movie? What can we learn from stories of revenge?

  • How does the movie portray teen drinking? What are the consequences? Are they realistic?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 11, 2014
DVD release date:August 12, 2014
Cast:Nicolas Cage, Rachel Nichols, Danny Glover
Director:Paco Cabezas
Studio:Image Entertainment
Genre:Thriller
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Rage was written by

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