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Rated 3 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Revenge Served Hot
by Betty Jo Tucker

Movies about revenge can be very suspenseful and exciting to watch. With Rage, viewers who enjoy this type of film get to see Nicolas Cage as a father on a violent rampage against villains he thinks are responsible for kidnapping his teenage daughter. The character Cage plays was once an Irish mobster -- but has reformed and is now a successful businessman. However, when he decides the police canít solve this crime  fast enough, the angry dad calls in two of his old cohorts to help him find the guilty culprits. Old habits die hard, so the distraught manís repressed brutality resurfaces and violence reigns supreme.

Rage ends up being a bloody cautionary tale about how revenge can backfire. It also provides Cage with the opportunity to show off his darker side in a role that comes across like an amped-up version of Liam Neesonís work in the Taken flicks -- and I donít mean that as a complaint. I was fascinated again by Cageís ability to draw me into his performance. After seeing almost all of this actorís films Ė good, bad and in between -- I continue to be a fan whether watching him do comedy, drama, action or romance. His appeal? Probably because although he doesnít look like a traditional movie star, he usually appears so believable in the diverse roles he takes on.

Rage may not boast quality production values, but it delivers in other important areas. The fine supporting cast and an intriguing plot help keep our interest in the movie despite its repetitive violent sequences. Lovely Rachel Nichols (Star Trek) makes us feel her confusion and deep concern over her husband as he takes the law in his own hands. Max Ryan (Death Race) and Michael McGrady (Frozen Ground) seem right at home as two guys trying to help their old friend, no matter what the cost to them personally. Peter Stormare (The Big Lebowski) surprised me the most because I would never think of casting him as an IRISH mob boss. And yet, that worked for me here. Pasha D. Lychnikoff (Cloverfield) excels in the role of a sinister Russian mafia boss, and Danny Glover (Death at a Funeral) does a good job projecting a detectiveís frustration about the case. Also, in her limited time on camera as Cageís daughter, Aubrey Peeples shows star potential. I would love to see her in more screen roles. And Max Fowler (The Expelled) deserves mention for his excellent portrayal of a frightened teenager.                     

Directed by Paco Cabezas (Neon Flesh) from a screenplay by Jim Agnew (Game of Death) and Sean Keller (Giallo), Rage offers a  reminder of how violence breeds violence -- not a bad message in today's world. The ending might not be to our liking, but itís entirely appropriate for this disturbing tale of woe.

(Released by Image Entertainment; not rated by MPAA.)

For more information about Rage, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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