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Arsenal: Nicolas Cage Stars in His Most Bizarre Role Yet

  • Adrian GrenierJohn Cusack...
  • Action & AdventureCrime
  • Steven C. Miller
reviewed by
Marija Djurovic
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Arsenal: Nicolas Cage Stars in His Most Bizarre Role Yet

Bad acting and even worse facial prosthetics are the main talking points of Steven C. Miller’s crime-thriller, Arsenal; a dreary drama about one man’s attempt to rescue his loser of a brother from the hands of the mob. Mostly ludicrous and with very little sense or natural logic, the weak setup is only made worse by poor dialogue and excessive violence. And then there’s one of the most unusual and strangest Nicolas Cage performances that you have yet to see.

Throughout their troublesome childhood, Mikey (Schaech) has always gone out of his way to keep his little brother, JP (Grenier), away from harm.  Their unbreakable bond is still very much alive today, but while JP was able to find some sort of life working as a small-time construction business owner, it’s Mikey who is struggling to find stability in both his personal and professional life.

With a daughter to look after, Mikey decides to mess with local drug pin, Eddie King (Cage), buy purchasing a bag of coke in the hopes to make some money selling it. However things soon go wrong and Mickey is soon kidnapped by Eddie who in return, demands a $350,000 ransom. Unsure how he is ever going to come up with that money in just a matter of days, JP turns to his buddy and corrupt cop, Sal (Cusack), for help.

Unconvincing on every level, Arsenal – released in other countries as Southern Fury – is a movie that invites ridicule. The generic setup and poorly scripted story of a brotherly-bond is weighed down by erratic pacing, wannabe-pulpy cinematography and quite dreadful acting. Brutal in its depiction of violence – slow-motion blood spluttering scenes seem to be its thing – it’s certainly generous with the gore. However, it all feels a little too desperate and overcooked, as if it is trying to compensate for its lack of everything else.

Refusing to give up what appears to be a fetish for bad roles, Nicolas Cage – sporting an oversized wig, bushy handlebar moustache and a weird prosthetic nose – is nothing short of a laughing stock in Arsenal.  Overplaying his card at every possible turn, his performance as the outrageous lunatic and violently unpredictable mobster is both enjoyable and painful to watch whilst both Grenier and Schaech prove to be very weak choices for leads.

Extremely violent and at times even extremely ugly to look at, there is absolutely nothing here of achievement with the exception of being an early runner one of the worst films of the year.

Like This? Try

Face/Off (1997), Lord of War (2005), Stolen (2012)

360 Tip

Nicolas Cage is soon to appear in a new horror titled Mom and Dad about a teenage girl and her brother who must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids. 

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