film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Retirement Plan 2023 * * Stars


Uncaged? Um, not quite. More like caged lite. Yeah I'm talking about Nicolas Cage's newest vehicle, The Retirement Plan. Sure Cage's Matt kicks some serious arse (he's been doing it since the late 90s) but here in the acting department he shows a little restraint (unlike his F-bombing side character and evil antagonist, Jackie Earle Haley). All of Cage's overreached flailing and thunderous dialogue readings are replaced by fists of fury and itchy trigger fingers.

The Retirement Plan involves Matt as a former hit-man who is living out his days on a beach in the Cayman Islands. When his daughter and granddaughter (who he never sees) seek him out after being hunted by criminal thugs in Miami, Matt goes into protection mode, killing over a dozen baddies while sipping gin and tonics and beer on the side.

So OK, any movie with Nicolas Cage is an event, it just is. Whether he is trying to cop a paycheck, trying to parody himself, or just loving his craft, Cage polishes that almighty, cinematic turd while relishing the whole undertaking of it. In The Retirement Plan he looks like the long-lost father of Con Air's Cameron Poe, all disheveled and scruffy and in need of some serious cleansing. I mean someone get this guy a razor or a Just for Men kit! Yeesh!

BIC-s and "put the bunny back in the boxes" aside, The Retirement Plan is an uneven viewing experience and nutrition-less, lushly locale-d caper. Why? Because director Tim Brown doesn't think in cuts, just mundane, tongue-in-cheek sequences where the endless amount of villains act brainless and can't shoot worth a lick. A sudden burst of violence here, a not needed twist there, and not enough Cage in action mode everywhere (isn't he supposed to be the lead?). Co-starring the likes of Haley (mentioned earlier), Ernie Hudson, Rick Fox, and Ron Perlman, The Retirement Plan feels so similar to Cage's The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent you could put both flicks side by side in a double feature. Uh, that's not a compliment.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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