‘Trapped In Paradise’: Review

Trapped In Paradise

As soon as I heard the words “Nicolas Cage” and “Christmas movie” in the same sentence, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience. Now we all know that Nicolas Cage has yet to turn down a role offered to him, but in my wildest imagination I never thought that he had knocked out a Christmas movie. But, really of course he has, he’s Nicolas Cage after all, the man who thought any part of Bangkok Dangerous was a good idea and who agreed that we needed a Ghost Rider sequel.

Not only is this a Christmas movie starring Nicolas Cage, oh boy, that’s not all, we also have the wonderful co-starring talent of Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey. Now, I can assume that once you read their names you immediately surmised that this film was made in the mid-90s, and you would be correct. The only time those names were ever remotely bankable in that succession. And what would we like to see these fine actors doing together, how about some crime caper? Sounds good. I’m an unabashed Cage fan, good or bad, I love just watching him do whatever it is he does. He’s certainly not as crazy in this as he is in later flicks, but there’s enough “acid flashback”-esque moments where he seizes out of nowhere and adopts a weird accent to love the classic Cage Rage that we’ve all come to love.

I would love to meet someone face-to-face who legitimately thinks Jon Lovitz is funny, because I can’t believe someone on this big green earth could actually think that anything he does is funny. I’ve never gotten it, from his Saturday Night Live days, to films, to even his “Simpsons” guest-voicing, I don’t understand how hearing that voice does not send you into a blind rage. Jon Lovitz is literally (and I mean that literally the worst). Dana Carvey didn’t think this movie would be bad enough by itself, so he decided to play a seemingly retarded guy. It’s cringe inducing what Carvey thinks is comedy, really his whole career is an attest to that, but here’s it’s just especially bad and offensive. Tellingly Nicolas Cage is the only one associated with this movie to still have a career. Actually, scratch that, I forgot that goddamn Richard Jenkins was in this for some reason, playing the dude trying to track down these dullards. Jenkins is 1000 different methods of awesome, and it took me awhile to comprehend why his greatness was in this, but I guess the 90s were some dark times.

The movie really plays as some dumb Lifetime or TBS original movie. It seems so suited to one of those mindless movies that one of those pay-cable movie channels just throws on in the dead of the afternoon on december 21st, that everyone just ignores in the background while you listen to your Uncle yammer on about his boring life. This is an actual movie exists. Well, I’ve hit 500 words, which is usually at least my goal on these kind of things, and frankly I’m surprised I even hit that with the doldrums that this movie offers. It’s almost a wonder why you can hardly find this movie around anymore…



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