You’re probably thinking this is the weirdest article you have ever read, but stick with me. It goes to somewhere.
Nicolas Cage makes many weirdly fantastic faces. His intensity and charisma are unrivaled in Hollywood. His face is like a living Disney villain exhibit. Where would you find such a talented actor with a buffet of facial passion? Unfortunately you find him in the Netflix graveyard of straight-to-DVD offerings. Not since Left Behind and The Croods have we seen a Nicholas Cage movie on the big screen. What happened to the Oscar-winning actor?
Opening the Cage
First, let’s look at Nicolas’ movie career and the film from a critical level.
Highest rated movies (Per Metacritic ratings): Adaptation, Leaving Las Vegas, Moonstruck, Faceoff, Joe, and Bring Out Your Dead
Lowest rated movies (Per Metacritic ratings): Bangkok Dangerous, Ghost Rider, and Gone in 60 Seconds
The article does not show his recent Netflix mishaps that have gotten meh to abysmal ratings, but those include Left Behind, Stolen, Rage, and Frozen Ground. The only one that survived that onslaught of bad ratings was Joe, which was a dark and sober look at a broken man.
Building the Cage
Nicolas Cage is not a bad actor and sometimes the internet paints him as a nutball. The problem is that he is not being utilized in the way that suits his strength. In the movies that rise above the norm, Nicolas Cage is always portraying a broken, troubled man whose personality is peppered with a distinguishable spice.
It’s only in the movies where he is the white boring hero that he is often seen as boring. As those roles you see him struggling to be funny and catchy, but the confines of his character are always holding him back. If you expect him to be plain, he will be plain.
Cage should always be the weird piece of the movie. If your movie calls for a noble, plain, vanilla hero then Cage should be the bad guy who is too interesting to take your eyes off of. If the movie calls for him to be the hero, then he should be playing a man deeply burdened and struggling. Here is my example of a Cage movie that would fit his repertoire:
Andrew Palermo (Nicolas Cage) is a southern New Orleans detective who has been in the game too long. Once a good and hardworking cop, Palermo plays by his own rules. He cuts corners with the law, has a past with aggression and suffers from mild schizophrenia. He works out deals with drug lords, is in a relationship with a prostitute, and spends his nights partying hard. Underneath that slimy exterior Andrew is just trying to do the right thing, but is too transformed by the gritty crime life to see it. When he loses his partner in a drug raid, he gets a new recruit, Matthew (Channing Tatum). Will Matthew follow in the footsteps of the twenty year veteran?
When Nicolas takes to the screen it should be viewed as an exciting and confident move as if we are seeing Johnny Depp or Meryl Streep. He has the credentials to back it up.
Being Set free from the Cage
Which brings me to the take home lesson (I told you there was a purpose). Are we being a Nicolas Cage when we are serving the Lord? Do you see yourself going nowhere when the topic of serving comes up? Do you think any role will do in the church?
In Ephesians 2:10 we are called the handiwork of God, created for work that has already been planned for us. 1 Corinthians 12:4 says we were not all meant to have the same gift. We should always be looking for ways to serve and ways to implement the gifts God gave us. If we are not seriously praying for God to use our gifts then we could possibly be setting up our hearts for dispassionate work. Also we could be filling in a spot that was meant for someone more qualified.
Meanwhile, you are using the humor and friendliness skills God gave you for secular things. Your church should want to sit you down and plug you into something worthy of your gifts. But I say that with a huge warning. As much as we should not just fill in our service for the sake of filling in, we should also not turn down menial things because we think we deserve better. You can be an usher, a soup kitchen servant, a Sunday school teacher and still use your great organization attributes. In fact, constantly trying those things is what helps us see what we are good at. If we strive too hard to “wait for the perfect ministry,” we will miss out on our call to make the world better.
Bringing it back to Nicolas Cage’s career. He shouldn’t turn down his casting roles because he is worth an Oscar, but by no means should he not try to figure out how to put his best character into everything he does.
What do you think?
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