Why John Woo calls Nicolas Cage one of the most underrated filmmakers

As the director of several classics spanning two continents and a legend in his chosen arena, John Woo is eminently qualified to pass judgment on whether or not any given filmmaker possesses the intangibles required to carve out a successful career behind the camera.

Why John Woo calls Nicolas Cage one of the most underrated filmmakers: “Brilliant”

After revolutionising the face of action cinema in Hong Kong by stylising the shit out of A Better TomorrowThe Killer, and Hard Boiled, all three of which comfortably rank as among the greatest ever made, Woo ended up inspiring a raft of filmmakers. These include Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Luc Besson, the Wachowksis, and John Wick‘s Chad Stahelski.

His decade-long Hollywood sabbatical didn’t go exactly to plan, but Mission: Impossible II endures as one of the rare Tom Cruise productions where the A-list megastar deemed himself as being completely subservient to the director. Face/Off can also comfortably go toe-to-toe with his very best work after he stuffed the lightning back into the bottle for a deranged, delirious, and all-round delightful action extravaganza.

The film would never have worked as well as it did without the pitch-perfect pairing of John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in the lead roles, who hammed it up to high heaven both as their original characters and exaggerated versions of themselves. Face/Off was initially envisioned with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone taking top billing, and while it would have been a neat gimmick, it wouldn’t have been the same.

Woo knows what it takes to succeed and carve out a legacy in the cutthroat world of directing. That’s why it’s very strange that when the BBC asked him to name the most underrated filmmaker in the industry, he chose Cage. Since making his debut on 2002’s outlandish crime drama Sonny, the Academy Award winner has since gone on to helm… nothing.

It was hardly a rousing success, and the fact Tommy Wiseau is a fan probably says more than enough about the quality on display. Still, while Woo acknowledged “the movie didn’t work everywhere,” he believes the first-time director “did a really great job”.

According to Woo, “the way he directed the actors was brilliant,” with director Cage immediately letting the viewer know “who this guy is and what kind of style this movie is”. Sonny was barely given a release, was greeted with an apathetic shrug by the small number of people who got around to seeing it, and at no point has the meme-friendly star even considered directing again.

And yet, one of action cinema’s all-time greats puts Cage above every other unsung filmmaker in the entire industry, which is nothing if not bizarre. It would be fair to say Woo is firmly in the minority because there’s hardly been an outcry over Cage going full Vin Diesel and refusing to embrace his innate directorial gifts ever again.

Related Posts

‘I consider myself a homemaker’: Julia Roberts details ‘pride’ over decision to step back from spotlight to raise her three children and laments the lack of good romcoms in recent years

Julia Roberts was once the queen of the romantic comedy, though she hasn’t made one in more than 20 years… until her new project Ticket to Paradise.The 54-year-old actress…

Is Nicolas Cage underneath all that fur? The beard hid a legend and was unrecognizable at the movie premiere.

Laurence Fishburne and Nicolas Cage (Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)Is that Nicolas Cage underneath all that fur?Apparently it was, as the idiosyncratic screen legend attended to the Beverly…

Weston Cage, Son of Nicolas Cage, Under Police Investigation for Alleged Attack on Mother

Weston is Nicolas’ oldest child and his only with Christina Fulton From L: Nicolas Cage, Weston Cage and Christina Fulton. PHOTO: JOHN SHEARER/WIREIMAGE; GABRIEL OLSEN/FILMMAGIC; ROBIN L MARSHALL/GETTYWeston Coppola…

Nicolas Cage, FKA Twigs & Noah Jupe in ‘The Carpenter’s Son’ – Cannes Hot Project

Nicolas Cage, FKA twigs, Noah Jupe, Souheila YacoubGetty Images, Pip  Nicolas Cage, FKA twigs, Noah Jupe and Souheila Yacoub are set to star in Egyptian-American director Lotfy Nathan’s The Carpenter’s Son exploring the…

Nicolas Cage Takes on Unique Role in Horror Film: Jesus’ Childhood Story in Production

Nicolas Cage Horror Movie Involving Jesus’ Childhood Being Produced US actor Nicolas Cage attends the premiere of “Renfield” in New York City on March 28, 2023. (Photo ……

Octavia Spencer and Isabela Moner Join Mark Wahlberg’s ‘Instant Family

Octavia Spencer, Isabela Moner, Tig Notaro, Iliza Shlesinger, and Tom Segura have joined Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne in the Paramount comedy “Instant Family.”Wahlberg and Byrne will play a…