Army of One (2016) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Nicolas Cage makes a bizarre acting “choice” for his character in Army of One. He speaks in a high vocal octave that suggests someone took long hits from a balloon and a bong. This odd element actually works and reminds that while stuck in straight-to-DVD purgatory he is still a great actor. Take for example a ‘classic’ Cage film like Gone in Sixty Seconds, in that movie he nearly sleepwalks through the picture, his performance here took thought, effort, and creative gumption. I applaud Nicholas Cage for not giving up on his audience like Seagal and others working the same circuit.

Gary Faulkner (Nicolas Cage) is a disillusioned construction worker, who decides that he’s going to take the hunt for Bin laden into his own hands. This stranger than fiction tale is based on the true exploits of the Don Quixote like Faulkner. His aloof nature and un-sophisticated plans are cause for the film’s moments of comedy and charm. The usually stoned American doesn’t seem to get much done, other than become a faux celebrity for his patriotic fervor.

Army of One isn’t for all tastes. This is a peculiar and minor film that is more character driven than you might expect. It also affords Cage the opportunity to rip loose and dig into his trove of eccentrics to come up with the odd octave range and speech patterns that distinguish Gary Faulkner. Army of One is the best work from Cage since he started working the indie-circuit. Russell Brand playing God is a devilish idea that works because of the comedians’ hedonistic brand of humor.

Director: Larry Charles
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rainn Wilson

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