Follow Genre: Action, Thriller
Director: Paco Cabezas
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 98 minutes

Tokarev (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Nicolas Cage?
Bad: Bad action, unoriginal plot, bad acting
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Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

There used to be a time when actor Nicolas Cage was a synonym for a good movie. After that, there was a time when it meant that while it wouldn’t be the greatest movie, you were still pretty sure it’d be an entertaining one. Now, sadly enough, all those certainties have melted like snow before the sun and when you watch a Nicolas Cage movie it can actually be disappointing and boring. Unfortunately, Tokarev in one such movie. tokarev-bannerTokarev (also released as Rage) follows around Paul Maguire (Nicolas Cage), an ex-criminal who has shed away his life of violence and has become a respectable (and very successful) businessman. He’s living an idyllic life together with his beautiful wife Vanessa (Rachel Nichols) and his teenage daughter Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples). When Paul and Vanessa have to go to a dinner party for networking purposes, they leave their daughter home alone. During the meal, the party is interrupted by detective Peter St. John (Danny Glover), who informs Paul that his daughter has been kidnapped.

Police immediately question Paul because of his dark history, but he assures them he has left that life behind him. However, because of his worries and his need to protect his daughter, he awakens his darker side and starts using his old connections to find out who took his daughter away from him. Luckily for him, he can count on his old pals Kane (Max Ryan) and Danny (Michael McGrady). The three of them have a lot of history together, Kane even suspects one of their old jobs being responsible for this tragedy.

tokarev-1If all this sounds a lot like you’re watching Taken, you might be correct. Tokarev is the poor man’s Taken, being slightly worse in all aspects. The dialogues are tacky and feel very forced, the actors don’t quite reach the level that Liam Neeson had and the plot is a mess. The worst problem is that the movie doesn’t fully commit to its intended purpose: namely being a cheesy action film. Instead of that, it tries to become something more, by using artistic shots, long pauses and dialogues that should be coming of as profound and intelligent. It’s a shame that all this fails, because the movie just comes off as boring and pretentious. Director Paco Cabezas clearly lacked insight in what he wanted to make and decided to cram everything in the movie. So we get an action/thriller/crime noir film, but without good action or suspense. It’s one thing if you know you’ve made a superficial film, it’s another if you thought you created a deep movie with a lot of meaning and ended up with Tokarev.

Nicolas Cage is doing a pretty below-par Nicolas Cage impression, running through a sort of “best hits”, with a lot of goofy faces, some close-up yelling and menacing gazes. If the movie had fully embraced the silliness that seems to warrant a Cage movie nowadays, it might have been a fitting performance. However, as it is now, you have an over the top Cage, in a movie that does it best to stay grounded, which leads to very conflicting signals. The other actors don’t do much, they’re just in the movie, but don’t really participate. The worst offender is Michael McGrady, who doesn’t manage to portray a stereotype of a washed out gangster. It becomes worse when even the presence of Peter Stormare does nothing to help the movie. Stormare is playing with one of the worst movie accents in ages and just sounds ridiculous.

tokarev-2The action scenes suffer from the same disease a lot of current action flicks have. It doesn’t show the impact of the hits and resorts to a shaky hand held camera with a lot of quick cuts. This takes out all the weight from the punches and hits and makes the action seem extremely unreal. In several scenes you can clearly see them hitting thin air, instead of making contact. The same errors happen in a car chase, you can hear the tires squeaking, but the car isn’t moving. It’s details like this that lower the movie’s score even further down.


Nicolas Cage, once one of Hollywood’s greatest, has continued his trend of starring in worse films each time. This last one lacks just about anything a good movie should have, but takes itself very serious. The action is very underwhelming and the thriller aspect lacks suspense. This isn’t a very good movie, but still watchable just to see Cage do his Cage thing.


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Tokarev (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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