The Projector isn't one of those sites that takes endless pleasure in kicking people when they're down. Superstar careers can go south so quickly for so many reasons that it's just plain mean to mock a person's downward spiral. So believe us when we tell you that we take no joy in discovering that Nicolas Cage's new movie, "Justice," is opening overseas before it ever comes to the U.S. In fact, there's no guarantee it'll ever come here. Just when you think Cage's standing can't get worse ... it does.
If that title doesn't ring a bell, it's OK: It's gone through some name changes. Back in the summer of 2010, it was known as "The Hungry Rabbit Jumps," and it starred Nicolas Cage as a man who agrees to let a mysterious stranger (Guy Pearce) and his secret organization get revenge on the men who raped his wife (January Jones). But there's a catch: Cage must then do the organization a favor, and Cage probably won't like what the favor is. Since last year, the movie has changed its name to "Justice" -- although, weirdly, IMDb is calling it "Seeking Justice." Whatever you want to call it, the thriller is directed by Roger Donaldson, who did great work with "The Bank Job" and "Thirteen Days."
"Justice" has opened in Italy already, and tomorrow it'll be in the U.K. and Ireland. Just because a movie opens first overseas doesn't mean it's automatically bad -- "The Adventures of Tintin" is currently playing in the U.K. -- but the reviews thus far suggest this is definitely one of those films that's getting buried. Time Out London dismissed it as "about as memorable as a morning shower" and adds that the finale includes "words that no fan of action cinema ever wants to hear: 'Let's transfer this showdown to the abandoned shopping mall next door.'" Paul Greenwood, critic for The Glasgow Evening Times, wasn't any kinder: "It's cheap looking and over-egged when it's being serious, and twee and unconvincing when it's trying to be a bit lighter." (On a side note, "twee" isn't used enough in film reviews.)
Considering all the bad reviews, we probably should be shocked that "Justice" currently doesn't have a U.S. release date. Normally, if IMDb doesn't know, they'll just list a possible year, but they're not even bothering in this case. This is sad all around, and not just for Cage. Even if you're an actor or a director with some clout, simply being associated with Cage will stall your career. (Everybody involved with that "Ghost Rider" sequel must be terrified right about now.) This must be what box office poison looks like.
But if you're in the U.K. or Ireland, hey, you can actually see "Justice" and tell us how it is. Still, it's worth pointing out that the film's U.K. distributor, Momentum Pictures, is advertising the film as "[s]tarring Nicholas Cage and the super-hot January Jones." Whatever it takes, right?