Army of One is about Gary Faulkner (Nicolas Cage) who is an unemployed handyman that receives a vision from God (Russell Brand) telling him to capture Osama Bin Laden. Faulkner purchases a samurai sword and travels to Pakistan to complete his mission. It is somewhat based on a true tale of patriotism, and quest for justice. Co-starring in the film are Wendi McLendon-Covey, Will Sasso, and Paul Scheer. There are also brief roles for Rainn Wilson, and Matthew Modine.
I’m a fan of Nicolas Cage unhinged. Some of my favorite roles of his are when he is his wackiest. Movies like Kick Ass, Matchstick Men, Wicker Man, Face Off, Vampire’s Kiss, and Raising Arizona. In this film Cage really disappears into the character. He does a good physical job acting different. You can tell he worked on his mannerisms and even his voice to try and become Faulkner. He plays the character so genuinely that parts of the film you really feel bad for him and the mental strain he would be under.
Larry Charles (director) has a very similar feel in his movies. So if you love or hate Bruno, Borat, The Dictator, or Religulous this film is not going to change your mind. His comedy is subversive and talks about subjects that other filmmakers might not tackle. Instead of going the “mockumentary” route like he did in Borat, Army of One is more of a straightforward tale taken from an article in GQ magazine.
Nicholas Cage’s character Gary Faulkner is a real person that did go to Pakistan to try and catch Bin Laden. They mention in the special feature how there were 11 attempts. It’s a silly comedic concept that still manages to have a foundation in humanity. I think that underneath the ridiculous premise and overacting is an interesting story but it is not presented in a very deep way. However, Army of One could spark interesting discussions from viewers. Even though it is not a perfect movie I did feel entertained and I was genuinely interested in it.
Audio and Visuals:
The Blu-ray retains the original aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and has very crisp detail. The colors have a good balance. This film looks modern. This is a moderately budgeted production so the picture quality looks good.
Being a comedy the English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound isn’t especially active but what is presented is very good. The mix seems balanced between the music and dialogue. It’s presented exactly as you would expect a modern moderately budgeted film to sound like. There are English SDH and Spanish Subtitles.
This release contains a Blu-ray, a DVD, and a Digital HD copy.
The Making of Army of One. (7:05) Interviews and memories from the set.
Army of One Final Thoughts:
If you are looking for a serious statement on mental illness, religion or America’s relationship with Pakistan then you won’t find much here. However if you want to see Nicolas Cage disappear into another eccentric character, as only he can do, then you will enjoy yourself. Fans of other Larry Charles movies will find in Army of One his same sense of humor in abundance. I thought the film was entertaining, but it may have been best served as a short film rather than one at feature length. The story itself may be a bit uneven and it will probably not win any academy awards but this is classic Cage. That in and of itself gets a recommendation from me. Fans of Cage or Charles can purchase here on Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.