Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance + Nicolas Cage's 10 Most Action-Packed Moments

'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' hits cinemas on Friday, so we're taking a look at our favorite action-packed moments from star Nicolas Cage's career. KaBOOM!
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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance + Nicolas Cage’s 10 Most Action-Packed Moments

‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ hits cinemas on Friday, so we’re taking a look at our favorite action-packed moments from star Nicolas Cage’s career. KaBOOM!

-Lucia Peters

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

You know what, Bettys? Comic book movies are fun. They aren’t always great pieces of filmmaking—many of them are, in fact, terrible—but no matter how bad they are, they’re always fun to watch. This is why it’s exciting that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance hits cinemas on Friday, February 16 (that’s tomorrow!). A sequel to the 2007 Ghost Rider film, Spirit of Vengeance sees the return of Johnny Blaze as played by Nicolas Cage as he heads to Eastern Europe in order to stop the devil from assuming human form. Will there be explosions? We certainly hope so!

In honor of the occasion, we’re taking a look back through Nic Cage’s career and laying down our 10 favorite action-packed moments of it. We’re playing a little fast and loose with the term “action-packed”—some of the moments refer to films he’s done (National Treasure, much?), while some of them are events from his personal life—but a good time is sure to be had by all. Read on for more!

1. The Name Change

Fast Times

Right at the beginning of his career, Nic changed his last name to “Cage.” Why? He was born Nicolas Kim Coppola. That’s right: He’s Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew. The name change came about as an effort to waylay accusations of Hollywood nepotism. The inspiration for it, by the way, came from the Marvel superhero Luke Cage. Action-packed, indeed! (The image, by the way, is from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, one of Nic’s first films.)

2. “I’d Like to Thank the Academy…”

Leaving Las Vegas

In 1995, Nicolas won his first major award, and as luck would have it, it’s one of the biggest there is: An Oscar. He earned it for performance in Leaving Las Vegas as Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who ends his personal and professional life in order to go drink himself to death in Las Vegas. The film, notably, was based on a semi-autobiographical novel by John O’Brien, who committed suicide two weeks after production of the film started. Production almost halted, but eventually carried on as a tribute.

Read Tom Cruise Is Back in ‘Mission: Impossible’ – His Top 10 Hottest Moments

3. The Great Action Trifecta

Action Trifecta

The years following Leaving Las Vegas were busy ones, and yielded three of Nic’s biggest action hits: Con Air, The Rock, and Face-Off. If you haven’t seen them, shame on you. Do so immediately. He won Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Actor in an Action/Adventure Film for all of them.

4. Adaptation


After Nicolas’ big Oscar win, he (somewhat oddly, I’ll admit) spent years doing action films and romance films. Not all of the action flicks were as successful as those that make up the Great Action Trifecta—in fact, some of them, like Snake Eyes, are downright awful—and the romance flicks (City of Angels) are rather tiresome. But in 2002, Nic redeemed himself with the Charlie Kaufman film Adaptation. Adaptation is so bizarrely meta that I doubt it will make much sense if I try to explain it to you, but trust me. It’s brilliant. It also yielded 14 award nominations for him, including noms for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award. Nicolas Cage, back in action!

5. National Treasure

National Treasure

Oh, man. The National Treasure movies are a couple of my favorite guilty pleasure films. They are by no means good, but boy, are they fun! They’re as close as we’ve got to a modern-day answer to Indiana Jones, and hey, since they’re ostensibly based in American history, we can claim that we’re learning stuff from them, too. Or something. In any event, who wouldn’t want to run around with Nic Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, and Justin Bartha, searching for the answer to a riddle connected to the Declaration of Independence?

More action-packed moments, including the glory that is Kick-Ass, up next!

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