#60 Wild at Heart
Director: David Lynch
MPAA Rating: NC-17
MPAA Rating: NC-17
Epic Co-stars: Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, Crispin GloverRunning Time: 125 mins
Cage Time: 95%
Cage Kills: 2
Cage Flip-outs: 2
James' Review: Have you ever thought to yourself 'I love Natural Born Killers, but I wish it had a bit less social commentary on the US media, slightly more ridiculous characters, a hell of a lot more Cage, and was just a bit more weird'? If you have, consider yourself in luck. And if you haven't then you probably haven't seen Natural Born Killers (you should see it, it's great). Overall, Wild at Heart is pretty tame by Lynch's standards; the story is generally coherent, the characters are recognizable throughout the film, and at no point do we see a giant skinless deer. Despite it's relative tame demeanor, it still provides plenty of excellent (non-tame) Cage along with Lynch style subject matter that many "Cage Fans" (I'm not sure if you should be offended by this or not, so go ahead and get offended but if you're the type who gets offended a lot then you probably shouldn't be reading this in the first place) will be able to get behind.
Sailor Ripley (Cage) and Lula Fortune (Laura Dern) are star-crossed lovers with the entire wide world ahead of them. Unfortunately, part of this wide world turns out to be a total creeper with a knife who needs to be set straight (beaten to death) by Cage which ends up landing him 2 years in the slammer. Upon his exit, his always faithful sweetheart is right there to pick him up and give him a snakeskin jacket along with two years of pleasure all at once. Unfortunately (again, they tend to wind up on the unfortunate side of things quite often) Lula's mother, Marietta Fortune, also wants a piece of the Cage and decides that if she can't have him nobody can. Before we know it Cage (who has just kicked the shit out of yet another guy) and Fortune hit the road to get out of town while being tracked by a PI and the mob, both of who have been hired by the wonderfully vindictive Marietta Fortune to eliminate Sailor Ripley.
As young lovers often do, they soon find themselves short on cash. They head to the town of Big Tuna, Texas where Cage can reunite with some of his rather un-savory 'ol buddies to try and scrape up a little extra cash. Enter one of the best supporting actor roles we've seen in a Cage movie thus far: Willem Dafoe (playing Bobby Peru, one of the creepiest mob bosses you've ever seen). But wait, is the wonderful and charming (as Lula finds out in a rather spectacular way) Bobby Peru really on their side? Or does he have his own motives in mind?...
Throughout the film we are constantly presented with a rather (intentionally) blatant juxtaposition of Sailor Ripley as a classic gentlemanly heartthrob, and a savage animal who can't be controlled by himself or anyone else. In addition, many of the characters are eccentric to the point of being charming, even when they are anything but (i.e. Bobby Peru (Warning this scene is a wonderfully creepy and violent HUGE spoiler so only watch if you won't ever watch this movie, or you don't care about spoilers, but just want to some excellent Cage on Dafoe action)). Even the locations seem to have an eccentric quality that helps Lynch create a world that is fun to watch even if it is beyond the realm of anything believable.
The previously mentioned eccentric juxtapositions may have been devised by Lynch, but it was fully executed (flawlessly) by Cage. In Wild at Heart, Cage not only shows his range as an actor, but shows his ability to put this range into a single cohesive character. He wears a snakeskin jacket, has perfect hair, tons of sex, drives a convertible, kicks ass, takes names, kicks more ass, protects his woman, kicks the shit out of people, and sings songs by Elvis. What more could anyone ever really ask for?
|It's a good thing Nic Cage wasn't around in the 50's because James Dean wouldn't have stood a chance.|
|"Big Tuna" or bust.|
|Cage makes love in public with his clothes on...|
|... and in private with his clothes off.|
|I think this is from the film but I can't be sure. Regardless, this picture is too good not to post.|
- "Rockin' good news" (slaps ass)
- "This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it's a symbol of my individuality, and my belief... in personal freedom."
- "I guess I started smoking when I was about.... 4. My mom had already died from lung cancer."
- "I swear baby, you've got the sweetest cock."
- "Man I had a boner with a capital O."
- This is a David Lynch movie, so the whole thing is a plot hole.
- They never stop for gas.