In this week's Kick-Ass, Nicolas Cage plays Damon Macready, a former cop who trains his foul-mouthed 11-year-old daughter (Chloe Moretz) in combat and enlists her in a plot to settle a score with a mob boss ("Is what’s onscreen a form of child abuse?" wonders New York's David Edelstein in his review). Watching it, it occurred to us that — outside of World Trade Center, maybe — we don't think we've seen Cage play one non-terrible dad in any of his 60-plus films. After the jump, we recall some of his finest movie-fathering moments.
Raising Arizona (1987)
Presumably to save money for college, Cage, an ex-con, steals diapers from the supermarket for the baby he has kidnapped.
When Cage, a rich Wall Street arbitrageur, wakes up in an alternate universe in which he married his college girlfriend and had a family, he flees immediately back to his office in the city, leaving his wife to deal with their kids on Christmas morning. But somehow all is made well when he later changes a poopy diaper.
Cage, a grifter, teaches his 14-year old daughter (Alison Lohman) to trick a lonely woman into believing she's won the lottery and split half the expected prize.
After noticing a pack of cigarettes in his 12-year-old daughter's bag and saying nothing (kids need to fight some battles themselves), he makes her finish a three-legged ice-skating race even after she falls and tears her ACL. "There's a lesson here ... I'm proud of you," he says, dragging her across the finish line while she moans in pain.
Cage, an alcoholic widower, knows that his 10-year-old son always preferred his dead mother to him. So when Armageddon approaches, he selflessly sends the boy to live on another planet with terrifying aliens.
In an early scene, Cage cures his 11-year-old daughter's fear of being shot forever — by shooting her twice. (She's wearing a Kevlar vest — plus, he takes her for for ice cream afterward.)