bad dads

Kick-Ass and Nicolas Cage’s Crappiest Onscreen Fathering

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.

The Family Man (2000)

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.

Matchstick Men (2003)

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.

The Weather Man (2005)

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.

Knowing (2009)

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.

Kick-Ass (2010)
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.)

Kick-Ass and Nicolas Cage’s Crappiest Onscreen Fathering