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Nicolas Cage Is A Vengeful Widower In The Old Way Trailer

As reported by Deadline, for the first time in his career, Nicolas Cage is headed to the old west. In "The Old Way," the 58-year-old movie star unleashes the spirit of vengeance in a way audiences haven't seen since he rode the bike of the Ghost Rider. Cage plays Colton Briggs, a retired killer whose wife is murdered by the son of one of his victims — setting this familiar plot one or two steps away from the many popular revenge fantasies of modern Hollywood (per IMDb).

Ryan Kiera Armstrong co-stars as Brooke Briggs, Colton's young daughter, whom he brings with him on his quest to get even. Though she seems to quickly take to his life of violence, it's clear this interest will be one of the central, internal struggles of the film. "As long as that little girl is alive," says the Sheriff, "there is no room for vengeance."

The film is directed and produced in part by Brett Donowho, a low-profile filmmaker whose directing career began in the early 2010s. His most recent film, "Acts of Violence," starred recently-retired Hollywood icon Bruce Willis, reuniting the "Die Hard" actor with Cole Hauser. It also featured "X-Men" star Shawn Ashmore and "Chicago P.D." actor Sophia Bush. Despite a promising cast, the film was panned by critics.

The trailer reveals a familiar vision from Donowho

The trailer for "The Old Way" begins with Colton Briggs (Nicolas Cage) digging a grave for his recently murdered wife — in a flashback, it seems as though a group of men ambushes her while she's home alone. The town sheriff tells Colton's daughter, Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), that her mother was able to bring her father away from the bloodshed of his past. Despite the sheriff's warning, Briggs burns down his house and takes Brooke on a journey to hunt down the men that killed his wife. It appears as though Briggs will spend the majority of the film teaching Brooke how to become a killer. Given the response to Brett Donowho's previous violence-fueled low-budget romp, this set-up is a little bit less than comforting.

"Acts of Violence" currently has a 0% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, with almost every critic taking specific umbrage with how the film utilizes its gratuitous action. Independent critic Mark Dujsik called it a "cruel and ugly movie," and criticized its simple moral dichotomy, seeming support of institutional vigilantism, and victimization of female characters. For RogerEbert.com, Peter Sobczynski called it "A gross, creepy and generally tacky piece of claptrap."

Both Bruce Willis and Nicolas Cage have a reputation for inexplicably starring in low-budget films, so their involvement may not be a consequence of genuine interest in the subject matter or confidence in the story.