24th Jan2020

Nicolas Cage Appreciation Society: Grand Isle (2019)

by Kevin Haldon

Well well… As we skip right ahead to the latest movie in our Lord and Saviours filmography we come across Grand Isle. We started this little adventure with a TV and a blink and you will miss it cameo so It is good to get into some deep Cagey waters. Throw into the mix Kelsey Grammer and I am ready see what this 2019 direct to video release has for me… Incidentally his 6th movie of the year, not bad output for the hardest working man in cinema history.

Grand Isle


Director: Stephen S. Campanelli | Writers: Iver William Jallah, Rich Ronat
Stars: Nicolas Cage, KaDee Strickland, Luke Benward, Kelsey Grammer

Buddy is a young hard working new father struggling to make ends meet since coming home from his time in the Navy. After a twisty turny series of events Buddy is in the frame for murder and in an effort to clear up his story he recalls the last 24 hours to the police. After having taken a rush job to fix the fence of Vietnam War vet Walter (Nicolas Cage), Buddy ends up being trapped at their expansive estate when a freak hurricane cuts off all roads out. Walter and his wife Fancy (Kadee Strickland) offer Buddy a safe place to stay for the night. Its all downhill for Buddy from their when the couple start playing dangerous mind games with him making this one wild night for Buddy.

I genuinely didn’t mind this flick, yes it gets a bit nutso crazy in places but I can handle a bit of bonkers. The movie is a cool 90 odd minutes and doesn’t feel any longer than that so I was happy enough.

I am all to used to crazy cockamamie performances we have come to expect from Cage these days but this is not one of those performances, yes okay there are hints of it, every now and then he drops his guard and delivers some outrageous dialogue outrageously. However for the most part we are getting a reserved stripped back version of Nic Cage here. He is playing a war vet that has clearly been through some shit and that has effected his day to day life. He doesn’t really seem to feel any kind of way about his wife anymore, which brings us to KaDee Strickland!!!

Holy shit… Kadee Strickland. This woman is superb and completely steals not just the scenes she is in but also the ones she isn’t. The role of the seductress can often feel ham-fisted and over-cooked, she has one job and that is to make us believe Buddy would do the dirty with this woman. We absolutely believe this would happen because she not only plays the sexy seductress well but she has the put upon wife routine down too. Strickland wins the movie for me and fills the flick with intrigue and all the right ingredients.

Kelsey Grammer is having the absolute time of his life in this role, its not a big one for sure but he is getting to flex his southern drawl accent muscle. As the detective interrogating Buddy he gets to deliver some nice corny dialogue but all the while he does it with a fantastic deep south accent. He is good but not overly needed. The only real letdown of the movie apart from the fairly generic script is Luke Benward as Buddy, I kind of just felt like they knew they had some gold in Cage, Strickland and Grammer but just needed something or someone to tie the performances together.

How was our Lord and Saviour Nicolas Cage???

I pretty much covered this up above. He is in fine form, the movie is not all that strong but he delivers the performance with his usual 100% conviction. He may make 9-10 movies a year these days but he always loves being in them.


I would love to have seen this one… During an A&E Biography on Cage, the host explained that he was director Sam Raimi’s first choice to play Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in Spider-Man (2002).


We are heading back to the 80s, its 1983 and this movie was his first leading role, coming straight from a 5 second cameo on Fast Times. The movie is… Valley Girl


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