One of the great joys of quick-dry cement-headed action flicks like Cage is reveling in a piece of art which couldn’t be made today, especially given how folks are offended by just about everything it seems.
Featuring the Twin Towers Reb Brown and Lou Ferrigno, who’ll kick your teeth in even as you cower in your safe space, Cage is another one of those human cockfighting ring action flicks similar to Bloodsport. However it’s a wagon-load more racist. But have no fear. Nobody comes off well in this.
Reb (Scott) and Lou (Billy) play army buddies fighting over in Vietnam. Billy is seriously injured and airlifted back home, recuperating in a Veterans hospital. Scott helps him recover from his injuries and eventually, both of them are working honest-to-goodness blue collar jobs tending to the waterhole they opened, “Incoming.”
It’s frequented by two buffoonish stereotype Italians, Mario and Tony, bottom feeder mobsters, who just happen to be there when some equally buffoonish Mexican stereotypes rob the place. Impressed by how Scott and Billy (especially Billy) handle themselves, the indebted mob duo decides to kidnap the mentally challenged Billy and force him to fight in the underground Los Angeles cage fighting circuit.
The fighting ring, which isn’t unlike the earliest savage incarnation of the rule-free UFC, is governed by perhaps the ethnic group that comes off the least well in this production, the Chinese. Their champ is bankrolled by a Triad mobster and is king of the hill, top of the heap…
Of course, Scott has to track down his brother, and enlists the help of a reporter trying to break the story for the LA Times. Meanwhile, poor Billy has to fight for his very survival.
Cage is laughable, yet remains highly watchable. Reb Brown exudes effortless charm. He may possess an acting range from here til the end of your arm, but there’s something indescribably awesome about the man, without whom we wouldn’t have our podcast*.
Notable as well for featuring the uncredited ex-prison boxing champ Danny Trejo in a rather thankless role as hired muscle.
*** (out of 5)
[*CHECK OUT OUR PODCAST OF CAGE!]