Nicolas Cage in: The Boy in Blue

The Boy in Blue

Released in 1986 ▪ Review posted November 10, 2014


Jimmy McNulty (The Wire)

The Boy in Blue is a movie about a boring sport, set in a boring part of history, with the most formulaic plot imaginable. It is an unforgivably bad movie. Watching it is suffering. Nothing about it is good, not a single moment.

Imagine, if you will, a soulless three-headed dog gnawing on your genitals with its many blunted fangs. While you scream for help, your worst enemy walks by to laugh and pour vinegar on what is now merely a pulpy heap of medical waste loosely connected to your body. That is close to the feeling I got watching Nicolas Cage play a Canadian competitive rower named Ned Hanlan as he sculled for the world title.

The directing, script, acting, music, and cast all fail simultaneously, creating an altogether new sensation in my brain. I would rather swim in a pool of bacon grease and fat people than watch this movie again. I hate this movie.

The Boy in Blue made $275,000. There are houses on my block that cost more than this movie earned. I have looked far and wide on the internet and I can find no information about why this movie was created. It just…exists somehow. Like the doorways in House of Leaves or the caretaker at the Overlook, it has appeared in cinema history, seemingly having always been there.

Nicolas Cage is terrible in it. His performance is embarrassing and juvenile. He acts like he’s in a school play, without depth or any motivation behind his actions. His vapid character generates no feelings of empathy. The viewer does not give a shit whether or not he wins the big race, even though the soundtrack does its best to manufacture suspense with its “Chariots of Fire”/“Eye of the Tiger” hybrid knockoff. His line delivery is so sophomoric that it seems intentionally funny at times. His facial expressions are downright goofy. The director films Nic’s very toned chest like he’s a sex object but slowly pans up to his stupid expression and still-uncapped teeth and it ruins the whole thing.

At least a third of this film is just action shots of Nic Cage wearing period costume and rowing. I’m not kidding. Only the nation of Canada could make something this miserable.

I really can’t believe this movie exists. I can’t believe it was made. I can’t believe anyone could think it would be entertaining, much less profitable. It isn’t even like The Rock, building greatness from failure. The Boy in Blue fails instantly at the onset and never recovers.

How was the movie?
How was Nic Cage’s acting?
Did his performance make the movie worse?