Photo: Buena Vista Pictures
We’ve all been there before, just like when we found out the truth about Santa Claus, that unforgettable time we accidentally thought Nicolas Cage was good. It’s a classic feeling in a lot of ways, that excited hopefulness followed by the harrowing drop in your gut. We definitely remember our first time watching Con Air and thinking, “You know, this guy’s not half bad.”
Thanks to a decent plot and an excellent cast, you were duped. Duped into believing this Nic Cage’s worst hairstyles are endearing. Duped into thinking his accent was perhaps authentic in some area of the globe. Duped into watching the film multiple times until you realized, “Hey, I don’t like this guy!” Now of course when we shared the best and worst films of Nic Cage’s career we did so by simply saying that Cage has varying degrees of bad acting. Here are a number of reasons why this 20-year-old action blockbuster might’ve gotten you confused that Cage was actually good.
Remember That One Time You Thought Nic Cage Was Actually Good?
John Malkovich was his usual awesome self.
Of course, John Malkovich plays the brains of this hostile takeover, Cyrus ‘the virus.’ Of course! He’s always been a classy actor (he has his own clothing line now, too) and always has been perfect at delivering his lines. Remember Rounders? More John Malkovich, please!
Steve Buscemi was classically unnerving.
Let’s be honest: Ever since we saw him put on lipstick in Billy Madison, we’ve always been a little creeped out by Steve Buscemi. But there’s something magical about this man, and we’re convinced this scene with the little girl couldn’t have been done better by anyone other than him.
Dave Chappelle managed to be hilarious, even in an action drama.
Dave Chapelle was some light comic relief in one of his rare non-comedy movies. Although he has experience playing a dope fiend, this was the first time we’ve seen him dropped from a plane.
We got our earliest memories of Danny Trejo.
He’s always scared the living hell out of us, but Danny Trejo wasn’t too well known when he was being scary back in 1997. Trejo has been acting steadily for more than three decades, but Con Air was one of his first major films. Now look at him today, super popular, but still pretty scary.
Even John Cusack wasn’t bad by comparison.
Pretty clever. If you were trying to make John Cusack look good in the eyes of badass, shoot-’em-up film goers, who better to stick him next to than Nic Cage? In the film, Vince Larkin is about as big of a hero as Cameron Poe (Cage). It’s the little victories Hollywood must celebrate.
Monica Potter was impressively smokin’ despite her poor taste in the men.
If we’re making complaints about the film, it’s that we didn’t get to see more Tricia Poe, played by the lovely mama, Monica Potter. Although she’s quite the beauty, we have to question her character’s mental health based on her taste in men.
Ving Rhames was his usual lovable teddy bear/badass sidekick self.
Good old Diamond Dog, played by Ving Rhames, was just another great hard-ass action movie sidekick we couldn’t help but love, even if he was a bad guy. Best known for his role as Tom Cruise’s recurring sidekick in the Mission: Impossible franchise, we’ve always had a soft spot for Ving, much like Michael Clarke Duncan.
Landry Allbright turned out to be a hottie anyway.
Allbright played Casey Poe, Cage’s daughter in the film. And well, let’s just say she grew up quite well.
Remember AZZKIKR? Amazing.
Colm Meaney plays the dickhead DEA agent in the film, but that license plate gets us every time. It’s almost as good as Kramer’s ASSMAN license plate on Seinfeld.
M.C. Gainey got his piloting chops on Con Air before Lost.
Who says actors can be pleasantly typecast? Hell, his name was Swamp Thing in the film. That’s his credited character name. Doesn’t get much more Lost than that!
And then there’s good old Nic…
Oh Nic, we can’t decide which part of your role in this movie is more infuriating (hair, accent, general acting), but when you were shot in the arm on the plane and didn’t flinch even a bit, that took the cake. You know they made more than one of those bunnies, right bro? Anyways, this was fun, all in good fun at Nic Cage’s expense. Thanks for being such a good sport, Mr. Poe.