Prologue, set in 1987, introduces Cage’s character, Jack Campbell, just before he boards a London-bound plane.He’s eager to pursue a one-year internship at a prestigious British bank — but slightly uneasy about separating from Kate (Tea Leoni), his fetching law-student girlfriend. Not that Jack seems to mind his bachelor life as a high-rolling mergers-and-acquisitions whiz.Indeed, Jack triggers his own comeuppance through an impulsively selfless act, when he talks a mood-swinging, gun-wielding street punk out of shooting bystanders during a convenience-store fracas.
It doesn’t hurt that she plays Kate with enough alluring sensuality to lend at least a modicum of credence to Jack’s third-act embrace of suburban life.
Cheadle makes the most of his few scenes as the ambiguous Cash.
After an hour or so, however, Ratner and his writers attempt a jarring about-face, to show Jack falling in love with his wife, his children and his low-profile life as a salt-of-the-earth Joe Average.
The switch is, to put it charitably, a great deal less than persuasive.
Among the other supporting players, standouts include Piven as Jack’s none-too-bright but decent best friend, and Saul Rubinek and Josef Sommer as Jack’s companions in corporate wheeler-dealing. Crew: Camera (Deluxe color, Panavision widescreen), Dante Spinotti; editor, Mark Helfrich; music, Danny Elfman; music supervisors, Gary Jones, Happy Walters; production designer, Kristi Zea; art director, Steve Saklad; set decorator, Leslie Pope; set designer, Lori Rowbotham; costume designer, Betsy Herman; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS/DTS), Kim Ornitz; supervising sound editors, Gregory King, Darren King; visual effects supervisor, Mat(cq) Beck; associate producer/assistant director, James M.
As Jack’s suspicious young daughter, Vega affects a working-class accent that is meant to be endearingly comical but only serves to make her seem a bit strange. Freitag; casting, Matthew Barry, Nancy Green-Keyes. Reviewed at Cinemark Tinseltown Westchase Theater, Houston, Nov.
Hard-sell marketing, savvy positioning and marquee allure of Nicolas Cage should be enough to generate strong initial interest and decent legs for this Christmas-set confection.
Once again taking full advantage of slightly against-the-grain casting, Cage is improbably but impressively adept at playing a high-powered Wall Street warrior who’s magically granted a brief glimpse of the simpler life he could have lived on the road not taken.
He’s a long, long way from Wall Street — specifically, in a New Jersey suburb where he’s employed at a discount tire store owned and operated by his blustering father-in-law (Harve Presnell).