Nicolas Cage is an actor who, for better or worse, has many hits over his career that you would define as a “Cult Classic”. There was a time when he was much more reliable and had big, studio budgets chasing him, but after a myriad of straight-to-DVD disasters and straight-to-streaming after that, his light faded. Mandy came along and people started paying attention, PIG came out and he was being touted as being “back” and I for one was eager to see his career bounce back. Perhaps there are still more bumps in the road before he is restored to his former glory.
The Old Way does nothing to set itself apart, not as a western and certainly not as a Nicolas Cage vehicle. The low-budget affair is mired by a script that is unfocused, a director with no eye for action, and supporting actors, some of which you have seen before, acting as if this was a student film. There are a few shootout scenes, a crucial part of any western, you have to at least nail those scenes, but poor execution and sloppy editing leave them feeling confusing and anti-climactic.
The one good thing I can talk about is the score, it’s no Morricone, but where the editing and direction lack in conveying the emotions, the score makes up for by being consistent and not overbearing. The consuming and facial hair go a long way in making you believe the time period, a proper, more seasoned villain would do wonders for the stakes of the film.
The basic revenge plot has nothing going for it, people will tune in for Cage and quickly tune out. It’s as if the Lifetime Network made a revenge western, there are entirely too many long conversations between unskilled actors and an ending you will see about three miles away. This is one to avoid.
1 out of 5