Cinematic Deception: A Steel Caged Betray-Off

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Pop Culture
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jason Statham has a new movie coming out called Safe.  Have you seen the previews?  I think I’ve seen one, but it doesn’t actually matter if you did or not because I can tell you the plotline.  How, you may ask?  Because Statham has perfected the action-picture version of paint by numbers. 

1.  Statham’s a troubled/renegade/rogue badass at whatever he does.  If he’s a cop, he’s a lone wolf.  If he’s a taxi driver he’s flipping the bird to the speed limit, son and if he’s a chef, he sure as shit doesn’t use a cookbook.

2.  Somehow, through a random chance encounter, this gravelly-voiced randomly-gifted-in-every-form-or-martial-arts-ever, man runs into someone who needs his help.  A child, woman, sex slave, or quadriplegic.  Whatever the case is, if they need help, Statham’s character will willingly murder on their behalf without thinking twice.

3.  At some point in this tumultuous, 7-trillion-edits-per-fight-scene, action flick Statham will get suddenly get heart-wrenchingly irrevocably betrayed by someone he held dear.  It happens like clockwork.  He’s battling against all odds, beating the bejesus out of 22 henchmen in a subway car/horsetrack/medieval castle ramparts, when the camera zooms in for a particularly scruffy-bearded closeup and a bombshell is dropped. POW!  Statham’s best friend, dearest homey, police partner, or his mother reveals that they hate him, are on the take, are actually aliens hell-bent on conquering the world, or that he’s actually their clone.

4.  After being immobilized with grief for all of 30 seconds and, potentially, smashing the phone in a Hulk-like rage, Statham vows vengeance on all those who stand in his way.  Then he proceeds to burn the entire establishment that wronged him to the ground while fiddling like a (At some point shirtless) ripped Nero.

5.  Credits roll.

This Shakespearean twist (*Author’s note: I’m sorry for besmirching your good name, William, I really am) is as predictable as the sun rising in the East and Adele getting played 6 times an hour on the radio station at my job. 

It got me to thinking: who else could hold their own with Statham in a no holds barred, steel caged Betray-off?  I’m crowning Statham as the King and, thus, leaving him off the list, because A) it’s already way too long and B) he’s the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world at getting screwed over in action movies.

We’ll start with the contenders.  Guys who have gotten betrayed a few times, but can’t really hold their own against a monster like Statham.


Leonardo DiCaprio:

Gangs of New York: His homeboy sells him out due to jealousy about Leo hooking up with Cameron Diaz and, as a result, Leo gets headbutted a bunch by Daniel Day-Lewis in a whorehouse.  Betrayal level: 6.8

Blood Diamond:  Pretty much everything about this depressing-but-awesome movie is just people screwing each other over.  One after another.  In weird accents, which are pretty cool, too.  Betrayal level: 5.0

Shutter Island: “Am I crazy, Ben Kingsley?  Wait, are you crazy?  Hold up, who’s crazy?” Betrayed!  Betrayal level: 7.5

The Departed: Undercover cop, mob, murders, internal affairs, disastrous turn of events.  That 10 word summary is also what every single Statham script looks like in pre-production.  That’s it.  Just those 10 words.  Betrayal level: 9.0

Jean Claude Van Damme:

(*Author’s note: here’s a fascinating tidbit: Van Damme has a credit on IMDB listed only as “Gay Karate Man” which might be the single most fascinating credit anyone has ever received on that site.)

Lionheart: Stop me when this sounds familiar: Van Damme’s an ex-soldier with baggage who finds himself wrapped up in the underbelly of a street-fighting, criminal enterprise.  Then, whoops, he gets betrayed by his handler.  Also, he’s fighting to help pay a sick woman’s medical bills.  Betrayal level: 6.6

Hard Target:Van Damme was betrayed by his barber.  Betrayal Level:9.8

Universal Solider: Dead soldier brough back to life who Dolph Lundgren betrays and tries to make re-dead.  Betrayal Level: 6.7

Double Team: In a shocking twist, Van Damme teams up with Dennis Rodman to betray all of mankind.  Since he does the betraying we’ll throw this one out.  Reverse Betrayal Level: 8.2

In the Cage, Fighting for the Belt:

Nic Cage:

Raising Arizona: (*Author’s note: A true, honest-to-goodness, badass movie that also somehow stars Nicolas Cage.) Betrayed by John Goodman.  Ask George Clooney and the gang in O Brother, Where Art Thou.  Betrayal Level: 8.6

Snake Eyes: Cage gets betrayed so many times in this thriller that at one point I think a betrayer actually betrays their betray-mates to better betray him later in the film.  Make sense?  Neither does a lot of this movie.  Betrayal Level: 7.9

Face/Off: Betrayed by his agent who thought this film was a good career decision and by John Travolta’s gut-wrenching acting.  Also he was betrayed by some inmates in a futuristic prison.  Betrayal Level: 6.4

The Knowing: Betrayed by, I don’t know. . .the human race?  Aliens?  His kid?  He spent most of the movie sprinting balls-out either to or from a disaster.  I know this: he was betrayed by somebody.  Betrayal Level: 4

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Stay Hungry: (*Author’s note: Which definitely has the weirdest cover of a movie of all time.  See: below.) A young, ‘roided up Arnie definitely gets betrayed by Jeff Bridges.  Betrayal Level: 6.4

Commando: Arnold is the world’s buffest ex-CIA operative.  Any time the three letters “CIA” are in a sentence in a movie. . .someone’s straight up getting betrayed.  Arnold’s daughter is kidnapped and he must leap into action.  When it’s time to go rogue, Sarah Palin doesn’t have shit on the Governator.  Also, there’s this: please go to 2:04 in immediately.  Betrayal Level: 9.12

Total Recall: Arnold gets betrayed by his wife, Sharon Stone, his former friends, and a host of alien weirdos.  Intergalactic Betrayal Level: 8.7

Eraser: James Caan definitely betrays him.  Whoops, did that ruin the movie?  He works for CIA, or some other pretty-much-the-CIA type organization.  So you already knew that would happen.  Betrayal Level: 6.9

The 6th Day: Arnold betrays himself in this one.  No seriously.  Because he’s a clone.  That’s all I’ve got.  Betrayal Level: 9.5

Silver Medallist:

Tom Cruise:

Mission Impossible series: Whether it’s 1, 2, 3, or 4, Cruise gets Benedict Arnold’ed all over the globe.  With more knives in the back than Julius Caesar, Cruise’s character pretty much spends every 120 minutes of on-screen time getting double crossed.  Betrayal Level: 9.6

Minority Report: He gets betrayed all over in this futuristic thriller.  It’s not too bad of a movie, so I don’t want to ruin it but know this: it involves a lot of futuristic Judas-ing.  Betrayal Level: 8.5

Vanilla Sky: Betrayed by reality.  Betrayal Level: 9.7

Risky Business: Betrayed by horniness.  Betrayal Level: 9.2

106 and Park (As himself): Betrayed by whiteness.  Betrayal Level: 9.99

Honorable Mention:

Sylvester Stallone
Jet Li
Chuck Norris
Mel Gibson
 Bruce Willis


  1. d says:


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