Directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Nicholas Hoult and Gemmenne de la Peña.

If you sit down and try and count the number of movies that deal with a wealthy man's inability to come to terms with his place in contemporary society you're sure to find that the digits available on your left and right hands are used up very quickly.  

In the last few years we have been greeted with enjoyable offerings such as 'American Beauty', 'About a Boy' and 'Fight Club'. 'The Weatherman' will sit happily with these on the shelves of video shops for the foreseeable future. 

While Gore Verbinski's latest offering is expertly crafted, it is a million miles removed from his previous work on the blockbuster 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and horror favourite 'The Ring'.

'The Weatherman' offers us an insight into the life of David Spritz (Cage) – a weatherman at a Chicago-based TV station. David is unsure as to what his life means. Does he like his job? Do his children love him? Is his award-winning author father (Caine) proud of the life his son has carved out for himself?

He is routinely targeted by the autograph-hunting public and can be the subject of their angst at an incorrect weather forecast. From time to time, he has been struck with missiles varying from soft drinks to kebabs as he goes about his daily business.

In a bid to reinvent himself and refresh his life David tries a number of different things. He pleads with his ex-wife (Davis) to take him back; attempts to establish a better relationship with his daughter (de la Peña) and applies for a position as weatherman on the US' favourite morning TV show 'Hello America'.

David is only able to truly understand his value in life when his secure relationship with his son (Hoult) comes under threat. Only then do the rest of the pieces of his life fall into place.

The story seems to take forever to get where it's going but when it does it arrives with the subtlety of a runaway train. Once the character of David has been properly broken down we are able to appreciate the epiphany that he has encountered. When he can deal with the variance and uncertainty of his own life he is able to move on.

Verbinski uses the gloomy Chicago winter weather and the darker aspects of being a relatively well-known TV celebrity to portray David's confusion as to which direction his life should take.

Cage fits the role of David extremely well, obviously drawing from the confused and unhappy roles he acted in 'Adaptation' and 'Lord of War'. Caine should count himself unfortunate at not receiving a nomination at any of the major awards ceremonies this year; his successful reinvention appears to know no bounds.

On a personal note, it was a serious lack of vision that saw the classic 1998 Juniper track, 'The Weatherman', omitted from the soundtrack.

Verbinski's next two offerings will be the two follow-ups to 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' so we can probably expect more swashbuckling and less worries about the temperature variance in weather systems.

Patrick Kennedy