Ruminations on hair.

As my associate Arik pointed out in a previous post, Bangkok Dangerous hits theaters Friday. Arik also, however, posits that Nic’s hair looks “so good” which seems like a bizarre thing to say, since it’s actually terrible.
What… what is that? It’s not a mullet, I guess, but… well, it’s certainly not anything any respectable man would wear.

Of course, this is far from the first instance of such social deviance on the part of Nicholas Cage’s hair.
That’s from Next. It’s similar to the hair sported in BD, but with a bit more of a curly, pubic-type nature to it.

And just go a little earlier to see another of his great sins, featured in Ghost Rider.
Is… is he trying to look all bad? Rockin’ the leather and the bike and the sass-face and some kind of would-be rad hairstyle? Take note that even when his entire head become a skull wreathed in flame, the hair is not destroyed. It magically regenerates after a hard night of riding bikes and self-immolation. I like to think that the hairless look of the skull represents Cage’s scalp’s future, whereas the hair he sports the rest of the film represents his hair’s past/denial stage.

Now, looking at such evidence, and considering the movies they appear in (I feel no guilt in judging Bangkok Dangerous as crap prior to seeing it), I have developed a theory:

The quality of a Nicholas Cage film can be determined by the state of his hair.

Above we have three examples of Nic attempting to seem sexy and hip via the arrangement of his numerous (but dwindling) hairs. It doesn’t really work out, of course: He just looks kind of foolish and laughable, and somehow the whole movie suffers for it. But let’s take a look at the other end of the spectrum:

The Weather Man:

Matchstick Men:

Nic’s on the left in that last one, by the way.

In those movies, we see hair free of false attractiveness. Seriously, look at his Kaufman hair: fuzzy, unappealing. His weather man look is equally unappealing. And in Matchstick Men, though not at all unkempt, it’s at least denial-free: receding, boring, mundane. And what do these films have in common?

They’re all three really, really good. Seriously, Adaptation’s one of my favorite movies ever, easily.

Now, I’ll admit this isn’t a foolproof method of quality detection. For instance, in the terrible National Treasure movies, Cage’s hair actually looks pretty inoffensive. However, I would like to point out one thing:
Nic’s wearing the same hair as Jon Voight. I guess to illustrate that they’re related. It doesn’t prove much, I just thought it was funny.

Now, I’ve been arguing that Nic Cage’s hair is how we determine the quality of any one of his movies. But I’d like to go a little further with that idea. Why limit it to Nic?

Tom Hanks and his hair as they appear in The Da Vinci Code. His hair is doing the same thing that Nic’s is so prone to do, but worse. So, so much worse. Now, get ready for the big shock, and a major spoiler for that movie if you somehow didn’t see it: It sucks really, really hard. Like, one of the worst two hours you’ll ever spend in front of any kind of media (unless, of course, you’re reading this very slowly. Then I guess that’d be an even worse two hours. But bear with me here.)

And further down the rabbit hole we go…
That, of course, is Keanu Reeves.

I would like to put forth the idea that Misters Hanks and Cage are trying to emulate that bold, long haired style.

It’s easy to understand why; Keanu’s a successful actor. He’s been in many blockbuster films, he’s still a hit with the ladies, and hell, even with the dudes (Point Break is entirely rad, and so is The Matrix). Why wouldn’t they, in their older and less attractive ages, want to look a bit more like the Hollywood hunks they’d like to be?

But there is a problem: Tom Hanks and Nicholas Cage are talented actors. While both have been in their share of truly terrible movies, they’re still both fine performers. Keanu Reeves, meanwhile, has almost exactly no talent. He delivers lines in the manner of a machine gifted with speech. While in a few decent films (Chain Reaction, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the two mentioned earlier), the rest are largely horrible.

When the hair of the untalented sits upon the heads of the gifted, problems arise. The universe becomes confused; the film becomes rapidly unwatchable. And the most talented actor in the world can do nothing; by my reckoning, Laurence Olivier couldn’t act himself out of that hair’s power.

So next time you see a potential blockbuster picture advertised, remember my words. Study the star’s hair. You may dodge a bullet.

Of course, I only just now realize that Arik was maybe just being sarcastic. In that case, disregard the above post.


~ by David on August 29, 2008.

One Response to “Ruminations on hair.”

  1. Nick Cage seems to have a long hair cycle… he grows it out long just before he cuts it off about every fourth movie, i.e. ConAir, Next and now Bangkok Express

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