The Movie: Overly drenched in blood and regret after some unsavory crusading in the Middle East, two men (Cage and Hayden Christensen) drift to the Far East in the years afterwards in a haze of regret and substance abuse. There they become involved in a dynastic struggle, and more killing ensues. The story is formulaic, the characters are shallow, and the action lacks pacing and coherence. The camerawork and editing are consistently overactive. For all that, it's not such a bad movie. The story is engaging enough, and there's plenty of beautiful landscapes and ornate sets for the action sequences.
Cage: Cage is long-haired and one-eyed as the older crusader. He also has an accent that is ... English, maybe? Cage has done accents before with no problem (Con Air). Whatever this accent is meant to be, it's terrible. Even worse, it so dominates his performance that the accent becomes his character. Bad accent, bad performance. The result is Cage offering a serious of ludicrous lines in some sort of Brythonic growl.
Standout Cage Moment: We see Cage in the first scene, and then he disappears for an hour. When we see him again, for reasons that are entirely unexplained, he's holding a snake in each hand. So that's something, especially because we know how Cage feels about snakes.
A lot of actors these days want to ground their performances within their own formative experiences, but good acting takes more than that. Some historical and cultural perspective, for example. Does that mean I spent four days in a Yunnan opium den with Hayden? Of course not. I was too busy hanging out with Timothy Spall at his ice cream parlor in the Dordogne. I was copying his accent, which is exactly how I think a Crusader in the 13th century would talk, but with a little Armenian patois mixed in. I wanted to sound like Tom Hardy after some poorly considered Bolivian oral surgery. He doesn't own bad accents, you know. You leave a Nic Cage movie aroused or confused. That's not my mantra. It's Laurence Olivier's. If I need to talk in a way that no one understands, then so be it. Everything is just part of the shamanic convergence.