At this point, it might be hard to believe you need more than two hands to count the number of Certified Fresh films that Nicolas Cage has been involved in, but the vast majority of those successes came early in his career. The Oscar winner has settled for a life as a straight-to-VOD star in recent years, leaving fans and critics to wonder where it all went wrong.
Cage's career has been pockmarked with a long list of flops, but he always seemed to balance them with well-timed hits; his position as a credible A-lister really started to look seriously dubious after duds like 2006's The Wicker Man and 2007's Ghost Rider turned out to be huge letdowns. He had a brief reprieve with a successful (financially, at least) sequel to his fantasy epic National Treasure, but his next outing proved once and for all that his days of packing out movie theaters were behind him.
2008's Bangkok Dangerous couldn't even recoup its budget at the worldwide market, never mind domestically. A remake of the 1999 Thai film of the same name, it was pummeled by Rotten Tomatoes critics for "murky cinematography, a meandering pace, a dull storyline, and rather wooden performances." Bangkok Dangerous has an embarrassingly low 9 percent approval rating on the website, a trend which continued over the years and forced Cage to reexamine his career.
He told the Los Angeles Times in 2016 that he never wanted to become the new face of video-on-demand, but has decided to embrace it nonetheless. As he put it, "I think it's a good thing that at least these movies will be seen on some level and will not become completely extinct."