“Ughh look at that beard.” That’s the first thought that circled around my brain as the opening seconds of the trailer for Joe blazed on my computer screen. “Here we go again, another trip down the rabbit hole of bad Nicolas Cage films. Another ridiculous performance from Nicolas Cage in an equally terrible movie.” But as the trailer continued, I noticed that there was something magical happening, I wasn’t groaning. Then a second thought made its way around my brain: this actually looks good.
Not just good, but possibly great. And it’s been so long since the words “great” and “Nicolas Cage” fit into a sentence together organically without feeling like a syntactical tragedy. But the words fit together like magic when watching this trailer for Joe. It seems that director David Gordon Green has managed to coax a good performance out of Cage, and repurpose all of his manic, off-kilter madness into actual menace, actual honest to god acting.
Even though this two-minute trailer is far too short to make any definitive statements, this very well may be his first good movie since… since… well… uhhh… jeez what was his last good movie? Hm. Drive Angry? Wait, no, that was terrible. How about Ghost Rid.. eh no, no, definitely not that one. There must be something there. How about the Sorcererer’s Apprentice? Season of the Witch? Bangkok Dangerous? Someone on the planet must have liked Bangkok Dangerous, right? I know! The Wicker Man! Wait, that’s the one with the bees. Not the bees. Please not the bees… Well in any case, this looks like it might be the best Nicolas Cage film in recent memory.
Adaptation! There we go.