THE RETIREMENT PLAN – Review by Susan Granger

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After a brief release in theaters, Nicolas Cage’s newest action-comedy The Retirement Plan is now streaming.

The story begins in Miami with a heist that goes terribly wrong. As a result, Jimmy (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) and his wife Ashley (Ashley Greene) are in possession of an incriminating flash-drive that mobster, Donnie (Jackie Earle Haley) promised to give Hector (Grace Byrne), who heads an organized crime syndicate.

Desperate, Ashley hides it in the backpack belonging to her 11 year-old daughter Sarah (Thalia Campbell) and puts her on a plane to the Cayman Islands with instructions to find a man named Matt (Nic Cage), who turns out to be her grumpy grandfather.

Wearing a Hawaiian shirt and reeking of liquor, scraggly-haired Matt resembles a derelict. Long estranged from Ashley, he doesn’t even know he has a granddaughter. He used to be in Special Forces, working as an assassin for the government, but he has no intention of giving up his peaceful beach-bum lifestyle,

Holding Jimmy hostage, Donnie then dispatches his Shakespeare-loving henchman Bobo (Ron Perlman) and General (Ronnie James Hughes) to accompany Sarah to retrieve the flash-drive.

So what happens? Imagine a ruthless ‘John Wick’-like hitman drowning himself in drink on an island for 30 years and then coming out of retirement

So how did Canadian writer/director Tim Brown (The Cradle) get Cage to star in this obviously low-budget crime-thriller? Apparently, Cage was intrigued with playing an older character like the granddad and Brown continuously urged him to improvise on the family theme.

Living on a sunny ‘Covid-free’ tropical island for several months in 2021 was also an inducement since there was a 16-day quarantine. Plus, Cage became friends with Ron Perlman while filming Season of the Witch (2011) and they enjoyed hanging out together.

FYI: Busy Nic Cage has appeared in six (6) other 2023 movies: The Old Way, The Flash, Renfield, Sympathy for the Devil, Dream Scenario,” and Butcher’s Crossing.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, The Retirement Plan is an escapist 6, available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Prime Video and/or Vudu.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.