Who else is imagining Nicolas Cage as Neo the whole way through The Matrix trilogy now? On that note, who else is thinking that if this would have happened in real life that we would have seen one of Cage’s famous freakout moments here and there? I’ll admit, I was hoping for at least one or two of them in this clip, but at the same time knew it wasn’t bound to happen if only because there was room for such a thing in the movie. Keanu Reeves was pretty reserved throughout the trilogy as he kind of walked through his part at times and completely owned it at others. Seeing Nicolas Cage act this reserved would be kind of hard to do since he usually has at least one or two manic moments in his movies and people tend to expect it. Much as fans tend to expect to see Keanu say ‘whoa’ in some movies, even though it doesn’t happen in all of them, this is one of those that kind of made the moment when he watched Morpheus jump from one building to another. Watching Cage say the same thing would probably be more akin to his character in Gone in 60 Seconds, that kind of loose, sarcastic attitude that would still elicit a laugh but was far more snarky than the whole surfer attitude that Keanu has had for so long.
That’s a big part of what makes this so funny after all since the two actors have completely different styles given that Keanu doesn’t really have many manic moments and when they do come along his look doesn’t change all that much. When Cage decides to spaz out his nostrils flare, his eyes get wide, and you get this feeling that the guy is about to flip out, which he does sometimes. But that’s the allure of his characters every now and then, those sudden explosions of emotion that people are expecting but aren’t really ready for since he busts them out in a way that people usually can’t anticipate. Seeing that happen in The Matrix though might have made some people start laughing pretty hard. There’s a pretty good reason why Keanu was picked for the role and not Cage since the difference between the two actors is pretty easy to notice, and seeing Neo go spastic on someone might have been kind of odd. Of course, seeing him spaz on the agents would have been kind of amusing simply because it would have been justified.
But when it comes to who would have played the better Neo, it’s still Keanu hands down since Cage is expected to be kind of out there at times, as being serious all the time without offering up his range of expressions is kind of hard to imagine. Seeing Cage without his customary freakout moments would be kind of like watching Liam Neeson not trying to be the tough guy in a movie, it’s just awkward. But in this clip, it almost felt as though the image of him had been sedated somehow, as though someone had slipped him a valium before filming had started. Wondering how he would have performed in a number of different roles is pretty easy, but after a long career of acting so crazy in so many of his roles it’s easy to see that this wouldn’t have been the right role for Cage since he kind of needs more room to let his inner crazy come out, and The Matrix wasn’t the right movie for that. The fact that there’s still another Matrix movie coming out is making it feel as though we might end up seeing a few more nutty characters, but we won’t be seeing Cage obviously since otherwise there would have been plenty of articles talking about the possibility of seeing him in a role that might have been perfectly suited for him. The Conductor might have been kind of an interesting role to see him in since it would have allowed Cage to be a bit nutty, but the actor that took the role was well-suited to it as well. Any chance of ever seeing Cage in The Matrix is right here, and it’s here that it should probably stay since otherwise, it feels as though people might start talking and signing petitions to make something happen that could be an unholy coupling of one bad idea with another.
Okay, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but things do happen in show business these days that make a lot of people wonder about the mental acuity of those that are making the big decisions on what to push forward and what to ignore. Thankfully this is just for fun and doesn’t mean much, apart from the entertainment value it carries.
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