Army of One  (2016)

Army of One  (2016)


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Army of One  - An American civilian sets out on his own to find Osama Bin Laden.
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  1. David Gregory Artworks

    'Borat' director Larry Charles' loony portrait of a vigilante determined to bring Osama bin Laden to justice features another unhinged performance from Nicolas Cage.

    In 2012, I was invited to participate in Sight & Sound magazine’s “greatest films of all time” poll. For a film critic, that’s an awesome honor — and an even greater responsibility — and for some reason I’ll never fully understand, I second-guessed my choices at the last minute, withholding my all-time favorite movie (“Fargo”) and submitting “Borat” in its place. In my defense, Sight & Sound voters always stick to the canon with this poll, since the titles with the most votes win, whereas I sincerely believe that “Borat” is the most revolutionary movie of the last decade, an anarchic social critique for the post-reality-TV era, featuring radical comedy techniques pioneered by “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” director Larry Charles.

    I have chosen this space to own up to my mistake (I’ll admit, however genius I still consider “Borat” to be, it ain’t one of the 10 greatest films of all time) because Charles has since moved on from his fruitful, if diminishing-returns relationship with merry prankster Sacha Baron Cohen (that subsequently yielded the turkeys “Brüno” and “The Dictator”) to attempt a wild-and-crazy satire with … wait for it … Nicolas Cage, and the result is a debacle. A week and a half ahead of its not-quite-straight-to-DVD release, the movie, “Army of One,” opens on a select few screens, where it will likely play to an audience of none.

    This terribly misconceived and strangely miscast comedy finds Cage tumbling farther into the well of his own bug-eyed eccentricity, a hole dug plenty deep by such roles as “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call” and its spirit sequel “Dog Eat Dog” (out later this month), not to mention a handful of live-wire action-hero roles in Jerry Bruckheimer movies, the massive box office success of which are directly responsible for his ongoing bankability in such abominations as “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Season of the Witch.” An actor like Tim Blake Nelson might have been a better choice to play Gary Faulkner — a 50-year-old construction worker from Greeley, Co., who traveled to Pakistan on a mission from God to kill Osama bin Laden — but then, Nelson didn’t star in “The Rock” and “Con Air,” and therefore isn’t a big enough name to get a movie like this greenlit.

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