Tag Archive: mickey rourke


Now, the reason for writing this blog is not to just slag Nicolas Cage off, I actually quite like him. I have enjoyed a lot of his films, old and new, including Con Air, Adaptation and Kick-Ass. But I never realised how many really big hits that Cage has been linked with but either turned them down or didn’t come to fruition (thankfully in the end) so that he could make the likes of Ghost Rider, G-Force and Drive Angry. So what are the biggest roles Cage could have starred in but didn’t?

___
Shrek

Cage may be voicing a character in the DreamWorks animation The Croods but a few years ago Cage was approached by executives for the role of Shrek. However, this never came to light because of Cage’s self-professed vanity. His reason for not playing Shrek? He didn’t want to look like an ogre. This turned out okay in the end though as if we had got Cage then the loveable ogre may not have his famous Scottish accent that he is known for now.

___
Lord of the Rings

Among the fellowship there were no real Hollywood stars; Ian McKellen perhaps the most famous among the cast. So things would have looked slightly different and it may have been marketed differently if Nicolas Cage had accepted the role of… Aragorn. Cage turned this one down citing “family obligations” and Viggo Mortensen will thank him for that and so will fans of the trilogy: Mortensen’s Aragorn became one of the most popular characters in the film.

___
The Matrix

The Matrix is quite an iconic film. It’s sequels divide audiences but the first film is usually regarded pretty highly. And Nicolas Cage could have been in the leading role as Neo. Cage turned down the role due to the fact it was filming in New Zealand and he was committed to raising his children at the time. Of course, eventually Keanu Reeves got the role and enjoyed his career for a few weeks.

___
The Wrestler

The Wrestler is the only film on this list that I am genuinely interested to see how Nicolas Cage would have played it. I think that this is a role that Cage could have done a wonderful job with. However, the role did go to Mickey Rourke afterwards and he won for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, as well as being nominated for an Oscar and I loved it. But Cage would have been very interesting in The Wrestler.

___
Superman Lives

Before the abomination that is Superman Returns was made, Superman Lives was in development. The script was written by Kevin Smith and was set to be directed by Tim Burton with Nicolas Cage in the lead role as Clark Kent/Superman. The film never got off the ground and Cage of course went on to play another comic book character Ghost Rider. I can’t imagine that it would have been a good thing seeing Cage in the red and blue spandex.

Advertisements

Director Scott sadly passes away aged 68.

Sad reports among the news today for the world of movies as the famous director Tony Scott has been reported dead after jumping from a bridge in Los Angeles. His death is being investigated as a suicide. It is a horrible loss as he has directed a number of box office successes and big action films while forming strong partnerships with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Originally from North Shields in England, Tony Scott is the less famous and less critically successful brother of director Ridley Scott. But despite his films being less favourable with critics he is a celebrated and talented director nonetheless. A common criticism of his work was that he sacrificed story for things that looked great on screen and big action sequences but this obviously went down well with fans of movies and some of his films became huge successes and some of the most famous films of all time.

Tony Scott’s most famous film is of course Top Gun and whether you like it or not you cannot deny it’s place in movie history and popular culture (although more for its homoerotic tendencies than for its quality of film). Top Gun put Tony Scott on the map and he went on to direct a number of even more successful movies including Beverley Hills Cop 2 which became a massive success at the box office making nearly $300million off just a $20million budget. Scott worked again with Tom Cruise (after Top Gun) on Days of Thunder which many critics called ‘Top Gun in cars’ but despite the negative reviews Days of Thunder was another box office smash for Tony Scott.

The list of huge name actors that Tony Scott has worked with is seemingly endless: Tom Cruise, Eddie Murphy, Kevin Costner, James Gandolfini, Gene Hackman, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken and the Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer. But with all these big names it seemed that Tony Scott enjoyed working with Denzel Washington the most as the pair made a total of five films together (with ranging success): Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable.

A winning partnership: Scott and regular collaborator Denzel Washington.

Whether you like his films or not he is a huge loss to the directing world and he had a big effect on mainstream action films that is still felt today. Critics didn’t praise his films too often but I bet they all enjoyed them as did most people who watched his work. He was a great director (I really like Top Gun, Enemy of the State and The Taking of Pelham 123 in particular) and my thoughts go out to his family.

With The Expendables 2 being released in a couple of weeks I decided that I would watch the first film in preparation. Here’s what I thought of it:

The Expendables is about a team of mercenaries who are given the assignment to take out a corrupt military leader and a rogue CIA operative on a Latin American island. Sylvester Stallone writes and directs the piece which brings together the greatest action heroes of the 80s and 90s (Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger), action stars of recent years (Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Steve Austin), Julia Roberts’ cousin (Eric Roberts) and the hilarious former NFL player Terry Crews. There’s something in the cast to please everyone and just from looking at it you know that it’s a film that is going to pride itself on its action scenes rather than the terrific acting abilities of the cast.

The film, for a return to the old school action movies, takes off on a rather slow start and those hoping for a really memorable entrance from the super team of mercenaries are in for a disappointment. While it is a good way to introduce the abilities and comradery among The Expendables it could have been a lot bigger and better and I thought that’s what Stallone would be going for. It seems as though in trying to get us to like the characters and understand the friendships there the dialogue has been crammed full with what are attempts at wise-cracks and friendly banter which fall a little loose and don’t really have any effect. However, if you can wait half an hour for the story to take off then you are in for a great treat.

There is something incredibly satisfying when you have waited to see Jason Statham fighting to see him finally let loose and take down several bad guys at one time; whether they are a match for him or not. Statham is fantastic and his fight scenes are so well choreographed they look like a work of art, he fights with so much style and finesse it’s incredible. Saying that though, each of the actors in the film have their own moment of fame as Stallone looks to share out the glory among the cast, whether its as simple as Rourke throwing an incredibly accurate knife, Stallone winning the girl or Terry Crews shooting through like twenty people at once and loving every second of it.

The Expendables, it may surprise you to hear, is not exactly a mind bender. It doesn’t challenge the audience or push the boundaries of the action genre; what The Expendables is is a celebration of the action genre and a very stereotypical one at that… right from the hero getting the girl, the girl serving little to no purpose and even the stereotypical name of Jet Li’s character, Yin Yang. But the action is second to none, there are great fight scenes, big explosions and a lot of fun to be had watching.

My Rating: 6/10.