Andy has taken a joke one step too far.
Disclaimer: The following is merely the ravings of a complete lunatic.
What happens when you take an Internet meme and make it into a $120 million film produced by and staring Adam Sandler, Robert De Niro and Nicolas Cage? Everyone is Nicolas Cage, of course! Our abomination of a film takes something niche and funny and popularises it so much that you just wish the meme had never existed in the first place.
Sandler plays Bob, a marketing executive (again?!) who is a huge fan of Nic Cage films. One day, he wakes up to find everyone on the entire planet has been replaced by Cage including his wife (Drew Barrymore playing Drew Barrymore, imaginative or what?). We see Cage with breasts, with giant muscles, in dresses, police uniforms, skin-tight PVC mini-skirts, doctors uniforms, nurses uniforms, business suits and wedding dresses. It’s all funny for about ten minutes before the joke has worn itself out, yet it continues going throughout almost the entire film.
Of course, Bob has to figure out why everyone is Nicolas Cage and how he can make everything right again, while of course going on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment, just so the film could claim it had something to actually say about life. In this case, its “be happy with what you have,” and it’s a thin lesson at best – especially with the amount of product-placement in this film. This might be Sandler’s schilling record (and I didn’t think Jack and Jill could get any worse). There’s literally product-placement within product-placement with an advert for Coca-Cola and Smirnoff Vodka within a scene that is basically a giant American Airlines commercial. Good grief.
Everyone is Nicolas Cage, like a lot of Sandler’s latest pictures, is a representation of what’s wrong with the film industry. What could have been a great three-minute YouTube sketch is stretched out to an hour-and-a-half and its painful. But, hey, at least it’s not Spy Kids 5 or something.
However, the main gripe I have with this film is the sheer budget of it: $120 million. The film looks thirty at best, and twenty of that was probably spent on gluing Cage’s head to everyone. Which begs the question: Where does the rest of the cash go? That’s correct, right into the pockets of Sandler, De Niro (who gets main billing and is in the film for mere seconds), Barrymore and Cage. And the conspiracy doesn’t end there. Research proved that Sandler and co. have been embezzling millions from product-placement in all their films. Take a look at any budget of a Sandler-produced film, compare it to something like Titanic or Terminator 2 which have similar expenses, and tell me with a straight face that films like Jack and Jill, Just Go with It, The Zookeeper, and Grown Ups had the exact same production quality.
It’s the perfect crime; if you can produce a fast low-budget comedy, you can give yourself any salary you desire. Say you spend $10 million on the film’s production itself, well, you could claim $70-80 to yourself or split it between your friends that star in the film. Plus, you’ll NEVER EVER become unemployed, so long as stupid companies that have no idea about the true costs of movie production are conned into giving away their advertising money. It all goes into Sandler’s fat wallet (seriously, you could beat whales to death with it).
I remember a day when blatant merchandising in films could be done subtly and actually be a part of the plot or a memorable line of dialogue (Coke in Ghostbusters, Reese’s Pieces in E.T., Pepsi in Back to the Future). Pictures like Everyone is Nicolas Cage don’t give you a well-crafted product which allows you to invest in the story and either forgive or even embrace the product-placement it shoves down your throat in lieu of a narrative. Films like this sicken me, and we as consumers should vote with our hard-earned pennies and NOT pay to see dreck like this. A critic like me should not promote piracy, but when you get a piece of shit like this, there’s no way paying for a film and lining the pockets of greedy executives will help cinema. The more we pay for quality films, the less shitty ones get made eventually.
This film could have easily been an okay comedy that you occasionally watch as a guilty pleasure, and it’s even more surprising to think that it was nearly a sequel and crossover franchise with The Truman Show and Being John Malkovich starring Jim Carry as Truman Burbank, who accidentally turns everyone but himself into Nic Cage (although it is unknown how the crazy head cupboard would have come into play). That story could have even reached the level of cult status. But, no, Wes Anderson had to drop out, the production collapsed, Adam Sandler snapped up the project, and this is the film we got. Fuck.
Everyone is Nicolas Cage gets a 1 and a half stars at best.