Over the weekend, Nicolas Cage was arrested for disturbing the peace, domestic abuse, and public drunkenness in New Orleans, and then bailed out of jail by none other than reality star Dog the Bounty Hunter. But while these tabloid-ready antics might seem worthy of remark, they're just the latest sign that the once lovable actor has become "just plain boring," says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. Despite memorable early turns in Raising Arizona and Moonstruck, and "fearless performances" in later work like Adaptation, the cash-strapped actor has been on a downhill slide over the last decade, picking up his badly needed checks in "unforgettable fare" like Season of the Witch and the National Treasure franchise while engaging in immature man-boy behavior offscreen. In short, his "one-note acting and over-the-top persona has grown tiresome," and "it's time for a change." Here, an excerpt:
But what's galling about Cage is his steadfast, arrogant refusal to grow as an actor. You might argue that nobody ever went to a John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart movie expecting [them] to play against type, but at least their types were men. Cage's type is a frozen-in-time relic of childish tantrum-throwing — one that looks more ridiculous with every passing year of the 47-year-old actor's life... He can call it deliberate, claim that he's created a "Nouveau Shamanic" style all his own, but at a certain point... running around and acting like a crazy person just isn't that surprising, challenging or brave anymore. And staggering around doing it drunk in your free time — also not interesting. Say what you will about Cage's nemesis Sean Penn, at least that guy takes real career risks and still seems to want to create memorable characters, as his funny, touching performance in Milk proved.