211 (R)

Action/Adventure 86 min. June 8, 2018
By Craig D. Lindsey
Even though Nicolas Cage reportedly has been working with intriguing, international filmmakers and turning out risk-taking performances as of late, why does it still seem like, every week, a Nic Cage comes out that has me wondering, "Man, are times so bad that you have to slum it in this?"

This week's bad Nic Cage movie is 211, an action thriller that has a barely-there Cage as an about-to-be-retired small-town cop whose bad day gets worse when he stumbles upon a bank heist. ("211" is California police code for robbery.) These bank robbers — one of them is played by Cage's son, Weston, by the way — turn out to actually be mercenaries trying to get the million dollars that a war profiteer owes them, and they don't mind leaving piles of innocent bystanders in their wake.

Even at a scant 87 minutes, 211 is more cluttered than a cat-hoarder's house. Writer-director York Shackleton bites off way more than he can chew, using the bloody "Battle of North Hollywood" bank robbery as inspiration for his painfully melodramatic, embarrassingly extra cops-and-robbers flick. There are too many useless characters (played by a cast giving community theater-level performances), spouting mountains of exposition when they're not ducking from an excessive amount of machine-gun fire. (Like, this movie wastes so much ammo.)

Really, how much debt does Nic Cage owe? I almost feel like setting up a Kickstarter for the dude, just so he doesn't have to embarrass himself appearing in "films" like this.
York Alec Shackleton Nicolas Cage, Sophie Skelton, Michael Rainey Jr., Dwayne Cameron, Weston Cage York Alec Shackleton Momentum Pictures

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