Cage Examination #22: Kiss of Death

Film: Kiss of Death
Demeanor: Bug-eyed fits of rage broken up by periodic moments of oddball lucidity.
Hair Quality: Largely overshadowed by the quality of Cage’s goatee, which is magnificent.
Performance Quality: Seven Cages Out of Ten. 

Little Junior Brown is a very strange character.

I mean this both in the colloquial “Man, what a character!” sense, as well as on a conceptual level. As a construct created by a writer to inflict menace and/or comedy relief on a protagonist, Brown is only effective in fits and starts. This is not necessarily the fault of Our Greatest Living Actor, who portrayed brown in the 1995 crime thriller Kiss of Death. However, given the sheer volume of peculiar ticks and inexplicable character traits stuffed into Brown’s dialogue, I do have an inkling that he was involved in shaping some of this character’s tone and demeanor.

Perhaps it was director Barbet Schroeder’s will that Brown, the heir apparent to a New York crime family of indeterminate national origin (I think they might all be Irish?), have an affinity for bench-pressing strippers in his family-owned nightclub. Maybe Cage had nothing to do with Brown’s penchant for crafting acronyms, asking tactless philosophical questions, nor his anxiety over the thought of anything metal being in his mouth. Maybe his pile of character quirks came from other sources. But knowing Cage as well as I think I do by this point in our series, I highly doubt it.

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