At this point in his long career, actor Nicolas Cage has been seen as kind of a joke for so long that it’s getting harder and harder to remember just how good he can be when he really gives it his all. As just one example of this dichotomy, Cage is an Oscar and Golden Globe winner for his performance in the acclaimed 1995 drama Leaving Las Vegas, yet he also won the Golden Raspberry (a.k.a. Razzie) award for his work in the 2006 fountain of memes known as The Wicker Man.
Many chalk this up to Cage’s best days simply being behind him, as most of his best remembered roles – Raising Arizona, Face/Off, The Rock – were in films made decades ago. Still, present day Cage isn’t incapable of delivering a good to great performance when motivated, as seen in more recent movies like Kick-Ass, Lord of War, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.
Cage’s next shot at cinematic glory comes in the based-on-true-events action/war drama USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, which hits theaters this Friday. Not long after that will follow the release of Army of One, which despite its title, isn’t another war movie. In fact, it’s about as far from that genre as possible. Distributed by TWC-Dimension and Anchor Bay Entertainment, Army of One boasts one of the wackiest premises in Cage’s entire colorful filmography, and is very much a comedy, albeit a bizarre one. EW has debuted the first trailer for the film, and a new poster has also been released.
For those still reeling from the weirdness of that trailer, here’s some background. Directed by Larry Charles (Borat), Army of One stars Cage as Gary Faulkner, an unemployed ex-con who’s life is forever changed by what he perceives to be a literal message from God (Russell Brand, Forgetting Sarah Marshall). For whatever reason – mysterious ways and such – the (imaginary?) deity requests that Gary travel all the way to Pakistan and complete the simplest of missions: find and capture terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. The plot of Army of One is loosely based on this 2010 GQ article by writer Chris Heath.
While Cage is clearly the star of the show, Charles has hedged his bets a bit by surrounding the former Johnny Blaze with a group of capable supporting players. Backing up Cage are Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Rainn Wilson (The Office), the aforementioned Brand, Ken Marino (Agent Carter), Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story), and Paul Scheer (Fresh Off the Boat). For the sake of both Cage’s fans and his tumultuous career, here’s hoping he brings his A-game this time out.
Army of One arrives on VOD on November 4, 2016, and then hits Blu-Ray on November 15.