This review contains spoilers. If you don't want the movie ruined, don't read any further.
Half of Cage's roles are in very good indie films and the other half are in Hollyweird wanna-be blockbuster action flicks. Most of the latter are really bad (Face Off) and this is one of those.
Nicholas Cage plays a slightly corrupt cop at an Atlantic City boxing match. Gary Sinise plays Cage's long-time friend, a Navy commander in charge of security, because the Secretary of Defense is also at the fight. Sinise gets Cage a seat on the front row right next to the SecDef. The SecDef is assasinated near the beginning of the fight. Carla Gugino plays an unknown chick who is talking to the SecDef as he's killed.
This could have been a really interesting film. About 3/4 of the way through we learn that the girl is a whistle-blower. There's a defense contract for a new naval missile system, and the results of the tests are being falsified. She was providing evidence to the SecDef.
A little bit later we learn that Sinise' character was on a ship in the Middle East that was hit by a missile (I'm pretty sure it was a fictitious incident. The ship's name didn't sound familiar.) He said that a working version of the new missile system would have protected that ship in that instance. It turns out he's falsifying the test results so that the missile system will go into development and it'll get fixed after it's been deployed. He set up the assasination to take out both the SecDef and the girl before they could go public with the scandal.
If they had let us know those motives at the beginning of the film it would have made for a much more interesting moral dilemma than the weak whodunit they ended up with. A much more interesting movie would be to follow Sinise' character as he struggled with whether or not he should plan and execute the assasination and how he would sell it to others. The motives of the throw-away characters in this were never mentioned.
They tried to make it interesting by showing some of Cage's vices. He gambles and strong-arms bookies. He's cheating on his wife. Wants to be mayor someday. Yet, he's apparently smart enough to solve this crime. And incredibly lucky. Everything seems to happen in front of him just when he needs it to. Overall, the vices don't really figure into the movie and investigation comes across as too pat.
On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Cable with Popcorn and Drinks. I saw the seeds to a much more interesting movie. This one is generic Hollyweird drivel.
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