Film Reviews

Southern Fury (aka Arsenal) (2017)

arsenal southern fury.jpg

Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Adrian Grenier, Johnathan Schaech

Director: Steven C Miller

This is a random film. Personally, I’ll watch anything that Nicolas Cage stars in. He’s either absolutely brilliant or bat shit crazy (he’s the second one in this film). That’s why we’re talking about this film. Here he’s in fine form as a mob king pin in New Orleans, who perhaps uses a little too much of his own product.

It’s the story of two brothers, the elder of whom, Mikey (Schaech), tried to shelter his little brother, JP (Grenier), as much as he could from the darkness of life. Whilst JP has grown up to be a pillar of the community, Mikey has found it impossible to get out from under the thumb of the local crime boss Eddie King (Cage).

Eddie decides that if he kidnaps Mikey, JP will have to pay up. But JP, with the help of cop Sal (Cusack), isn’t going to take it lying down. He tries to raise the money, but he also starts investigating and plans to rescue his brother.

It’s not a bad plot for a film, though it has been done loads of times before. And there’s nothing original here. But the entertainment factor lies in the fact that in this film, Cusack and Cage appear to have wandered in from a different film entirely. Cusack as Sal wears all black with headbands and aviators and looks like the Dread Pirate Roberts, phoning in the most casual of performances. Cage has THE dodgiest fake nose, which frequently looks like it’s about to come unstuck (you can see the joins!) and a wig and mustache that look like they came from the local costume store bargain bin. But no one puts Cage in the corner, and undeterred by dodgy scripting or costume, he’s in fine crazy form.

The film clearly has a very low budget, and at times looks really cheap. But they do a lot with what they have. There are some interesting shots in this film, and though the colours are overblown and technicolour, and the editing choices slow down the plotting and don’t serve the story, there’s clearly someone here who cares about their work.

In all, the film is pretty hysterical and other than the central four, the actors aren’t very good. And it really does look and feel … well, terrible. So not for everyone. But Nicolas Cage is Nicolas Cage. And that’s always a good thing in my books.

See It If: it’s really just one for us Nic Cage fans. There’s little else here to please.


10 thoughts on “Southern Fury (aka Arsenal) (2017)”

  1. I just discovered another 2017 film that featured John Cusack: Singularity.
    Spectacularly bad. In fact, it’s Neil Breen bad. And if you don’t recognise the name of Neil Breen, you need to have yourself a Singularity/Fateful Findings double.
    Warning: Be prepared to go full WTF and then some!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy a Cage flick as well. I saw the trailer for this one a while back, and I am not surprised about the way you describe this film. That’s pretty much how I thought it would turn out lol 😂 Great post, and I will probably check this one out at some point in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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