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Nicolas Cage is God’s gift. A living, breathing meme. His movies are all over the place, and it sometimes seems like he’ll do anything for a paycheck. But the beauty of this philosophy is that he can sometimes end up in some of the most bizarre, outlandish movies of all time. Case in point, in his next mind-bender, Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent, he plays himself desperately trying to get a role in a Quentin Tarantino picture, and somehow ends up getting involved with the Cartel. Because of course he does.
That said, some Nic Cage movies are more Nic Cage than others. Sure, you have your National Treasures and your Knowing’s, where Nicolas Cage is just some normal dude filling a role. But then, you have Nic Cage at his Cagiest. You know what I’m talking about. The movies that make Nic Cage Nic freaking Cage. This is a list of those movies. Let’s head into the Cage.
5. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
I’m sure you probably already know this, since you’re likely a big fan of the Cage Man, but in case you didn’t, did you know that Cage is not really Nic's last name? It's Coppola, as in "Francis Ford" Coppola. Do you want to know how he got “Cage” as a last name? It’s because of Powerman himself, Luke Cage. Nic Cage is a huge comic book nerd, and that's why he changed it. Well, that and because . he wanted to make it on his own merit and not rely on his famous family name.
So, yeah, Nic’s love for comics is deep (He even named his son after Superman for crying out loud). So deep that he even took a pretty bad ass character like Ghost Rider, and went FULL CAGE on him. The original Ghost Rider movie is bad, and Spirit of Vengeance is even worse. But even though this looks like one of his typical paycheck pictures, it’s not, since you can see that Cage is super into the character. And in one moment, he flat out goes peak Cage, doing his signature laugh and shaking his head all over the place. Because one you go peak Cage, you never go back.
4. Matchstick Men (2003)
A common misconception is that Nic Cage only does bad movies, and that he sucks as an actor. But no, Nic Cage is a phenomenal actor and he does great movies. It’s just that he does a lot of crappy movies in between the great films to the extent that you sometimes forget that the man won a freaking Oscar for his unbearable weight of massive talent.
Matchstick Men is one such good movie. In fact it’s a great one. Directed by Ridley Scott, Nic Cage plays a con man who has tourette’s syndrome and OCD. But Nic really plays it up, going full Cage frequently throughout the movie, most notably when he goes to a pharmacy and yells at a customer, telling him that he will drag him to the sidewalk and kick him until he PISSES BLOOD! Only Nic Cage could explode like that and leave you in tears with laughter.
3. Face/Off (1997)
Nicolas Cage playing Nicolas Cage is enticing. But Nicolas Cage playing John Travolta? Sign me up! That was ultimately the premise of John Woo’s 1997 masterpiece, Face/Off, where Nic Cage, who plays a bad, bad man actually has his face removed and then has to act the part of the good guy, played by John Travolta.
And Face/Off is a perfect example of why Nic Cage is actually an amazing actor. When John Travolta is supposed to be playing Nic Cage’s character, he's not nearly as good as when Nic Cage is supposed to be playing John Travolta’s character. Also, Nic Cage is the only bad guy I have ever seen who will tie a dude’s shoe laces and call him bro. That’s a Nic Cage bad guy for you. The greatest kind.
2. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is another example of Nic Cage being in a good movie. In it, he plays a corrupt cop who’s also a drug addict. That said, he’s a very convincing drug addict, and he sometimes just stares into space and sees iguanas.
But the further the film goes, the more Nic truly unleashes the Cage. And his laugh in this one is the best it’s ever been. The most notable scene is probably when Nic Cage tells XZibit to shoot a gangster again because his soul is “still dancing.” The movie itself, directed by Werner Herzog, pretty much seems like it was spewed right from Nic Cage’s brain and right onto the screen. It’s that Cagey.
1. Vampire’s Kiss (1988)
Come on. Number 1 couldn’t possibly be anything but Vampire’s Kiss, which is Nicolas Cage’s craziest movie ever, by far. In it, he plays a literary agent who believes he’s turning into a vampire. Pretty much every scene in this movie is meme-worthy, and Nic Cage is going no holds barred Cage throughout maybe the entire picture.
We’ll see if his new movie can possibly be more Nic Cage than any of these five above, but that’s a hard act to follow. But if anybody can do it, it's Nic freaking Cage.