Army of One online movie review - The most disappointing movie in recent years
About three years ago, I looked on Nic Cage's IMDb page, and noticed a movie called "Army of One" in development.
I've always had a soft spot for Cage, because no matter how many turkeys he expels he is a truly great actor given the right material. I saw the synopsis - "one man will stop at nothing to hunt down Osama Bin Laden." Then I found out this impending project was based on a true story, after which I saw the real Faulkner on Letterman describing his exploits. Finally, I saw that the director was Larry Charles, a man whose trilogy of Sacha Baron Cohen films are charged with the kind of shock factor and brio necessary to pull off this kind of tale. So I became incredibly excited - it seemed as though this was a case of actor, director and story perfectly aligned. It was late 2016 that a trailer popped up for this. I tried to avoid watching the trailer, but noticed the film would be a VOD release - hardly a good sign. Nevertheless I was super excited to see this film. That's what it's particularly saddening to say that Army of One is an absolute mess, it's not a noble failure, rather it feels persistently, incredibly lazy. None of Charles' comedic stylings make it into the film - I didn't laugh once throughout, despite the movie's repeated efforts to make me. The movie is blandly directed, and in all honesty nothing much happens. The most crushing aspect is that almost half of the runtime is devoted to Cage and a high school flame reuniting and falling in love, with a handicapped daughter to boot! Each scene that includes these two characters is crushingly tedious. Finally, to Cage himself - as much as I admire the man, he was horrifically annoying in this film. His demented, squeaky voice is grating, and what's more, the real Faulkner didn't even talk like this! When Cage is on screen about 80% of the time, it's difficult to sympathise at all. That being said, his performance does grow on you, and it indicates Cage is definitely trying harder than every one else involved. It's just such a lazy, lazy film, where cloying soundtrack is employed all too frequently, racist jokes are expelled every so often, and characters appear and disappear with no coherence (Matthew Modine is in two scenes!!) The most annoying thing is the promise that this film had. You can see glimpses of what Army of One could've been - select scenes in Pakistan (excluding the utterly unconvincing CIA agents) are enjoyable, and Russell Brand as God, as terrible as it sounds, is probably the most enjoyable and profound aspect of the film. In addition, the repeated hints that Faulkner is hallucinating half the time, indicated by visions of Osama's cave, and a HORRIBLE casino segment, are worthy ideas that are executed terribly. I was very excited for this film, and it totally let me down, to the point where it was difficult to finish it.