The Runner (2015) : House of Cage [Mike’s review]
Today on Cage Club we get caught up in political scandals when we try to clean up the BP Oil spill in The Runner. I can’t believe that we are BACK in New Orleans, the number one location for Cage Club. This is part 8 of the Orleans Saga and that may be the most that this movie has going for it, in my opinion. I just love the fact that Cage has made so many movies in New Orleans that I am at the point of creating a special Box Set of the Cage in New Orleans movies. This movie also starts out being very preachy and like propaganda regarding the damages made by the BP Oil Spill. It calls for accountability on behalf of the Big Oil corporations and tries to champion the local fishermen and citizens that must try to function around the disaster. The problem with the “message” element of this movie is that they mostly drop it for the second act of the movie to talk about infidelity, as if that’s the bigger, more important issue. Funny enough, I actually missed the propaganda themes and the message the more this movie went on. Unlike Left Behind, who’s message I didn’t like or buy to any degree, I am actually interested and curious about the Oil Spill and the way it effects the community, even years later. I was willing to watch the Oil Message Movie, so it’s too bad it doesn’t stay on track.
Cage plays Colin Pryce, a congressman that represents Louisiana and more importantly, New Orleans. He is passionate about the damage done to the local people by the BP Oil Spill tragedy. Just when he is gaining traction in the media and it looks like the Senate is in his sights, a scandal of his own rears it’s ugly head. Colin is accused of cheating on his wife with one of the fishermen who’s livelihood he is trying to save up on the hill in Washington D.C. Because of this inconvenience, Colin is forced to resign from his position, but not retire. He and his wife file for divorce and Colin becomes a non profit lawyer that fights for the rights of the people against Big Oil. Colin dates his publicist, who is also married and committing adultery, but the media doesn’t care about Colin anymore because he is small time. Colin’s Dad dies and his girlfriend wants to make it work with her husband so Colin throws himself back into his work and starts to get noticed again, this time from an unlikely source. Big Oil has sent their lobbyist over to Colin and talked him into an alliance, with the help of his soon to be ex-wife. They make a great case and the new message is compromise, the little man must work with Big Oil for solutions instead of placing the burden curly on BP or whoever the next BP turns out to be. Colin is back on track and running for Senate, this time with a strong message and lots of support, but maybe, just maybe, he lost a piece of himself in the process of getting what he wanted.
This movie is a politically charged drama that wants to be House of Cards really bad, but it doesn’t have the story or script to utilize those elements very well. There isn’t anything really sinister or dangerous about these characters like there are in House of Cards, but the one thing that almost translated well was the dynamic between Cage and his wife. I like the power dynamic set up there, but there just isn’t anyplace for it to go ice it’s established. There is some stuff in here that could have worked, like focusing on the oil spill the entire movie instead of getting side tracked with personal relationship issues in what I refer to as “marriage counseling” because it just feels like filler which falls flat for me. The big thing about this movie was the scandal of BP, which the film kinda gets far away from.
That will do it for The Runner. Only one more movie to go then we are all caught up with Nic Cage Home Releases. Phase 2 will include all new theatrical releases from this point on, plus some special episodes in the works. Cage Club is far from over, this is not the end, we will return soon with more content for the Nic Cage lover in all of us.
Next up is Pay the Ghost, Cage’s first full on Horror (?) movie. It seems like it’s his first true attempt at a really scary movie. All that is know about this one is Cage’s kid goes missing, which is bound to happen like it has several times before, but this time there may be a supernatural explanation for it all. Will Cage have enough of what it takes to Pay the Ghost ? We find out next time on cage Club.