The Wrath of Cain (2010, USA)

The Wrath of Cain - JD Parker (Gillie Da Kid) and Ricky Skinner (Nipsey Hussle) slug it out

Also known as ‘Caged Animal‘ for no good reason, it seems, other than that Ving Rhames starred in the two earlier Animal movies, the second of which was directed by Ryan Combs. This unrelated movie is also directed and co-written by Combs, who allows himself the indulgence of naming the prison where the action takes place ‘Combs State Prison’. But that’s a minor indulgence compared with the decision to make the film in the first place.

It purports to be a truish story. I don’t know if that really is the case, but it seems like an excuse to show yet another tough prison where bad-ass African American prisoners kill and rape each other. As if we don’t have enough of them already.

The central figure is Miles ‘Cain’ Skinner (Rhames), who is in jail forever. He is an aging kingpin whose passion for criminal activity both in and out of prison is diminished by the arrival of his son, Ricky (Nipsey Hussle), into the same nick on an accessory to murder charge.

We’re reminded, however, that Cain is still one tough mother. He’s led shackled into a pen into which his mortal enemy, Redfoot (Robert LaSardo), is also introduced - not shackled and carrying a shank. Cain takes a few hits but gets the better of Redfoot (who killed Cain’s girl during an ambush on his nightclub, while she was in Cain’s arms) and is holding the knife to Redfoot’s throat when staff intervene. Yeah, sure. The battle with the Aryan Redfoot proves to be a mere diversion, however, and only people of colour feature once his storyline inexplicably peters out.

Cain’s waning appetite for the hurly-burly is then further diminished when he learns that he has a brain tumour and has only months to live. He has already started reading his Bible in solitary, and now confesses to his son, “I was a cancer to my family, so God blessed me with cancer. That’s how God works”.

He takes on the task of counselling young kids at risk of coming to prison, but his principal mission is to get Ricky to go straight, to not follow down his path. Ricky is at first a reluctant pupil, blaming his father for pretty much everything. But he softens over time… and has to contend with his own problems, with his own bête noire, JD Parker (Gillie Da Kid), whose gang has inflicted casualties on Ricky’s gang, and vice versa, arriving in the same prison.

In a prison where there are regular stabbings, it’s nice to see that when the two younger men finally confront each other they follow the Queensberry Rules for some time… before pulling out their mini-shanks. By then, there’s just time for a couple of surprise twists in the plot, and it’s over, leaving you wondering why you bothered.

No doubt the filmmakers would want you to see a portrait of a man desperately seeking and finding redemption, but there’s very little of a redeeming nature in this film.

The Wrath of Cain #2 - Robert Lasardo as Redfoot The Wrath of Cain #3 - Ving Rhames as Miles 'Cain' Skinner, with Bible, and Nipsey Hussle as his son, Ricky

Posted on September 6th, 2011 at 4:58 pm. Updated on March 26th, 2013 at 9:57 pm.

#359 in the Top 500

12 Responses to “The Wrath of Cain (2010, USA)”

  1. July 7th, 2013 at 6:20 am
    kkkkk says:

    i was not able to see the movie on here , but i watched it before & it was such a good movie .

  2. August 27th, 2013 at 2:00 am
    mike says:

    Very good movie

  3. August 27th, 2013 at 8:42 pm
    Spook says:

    This movie get the point across.

  4. August 30th, 2013 at 1:10 am
    2racistguysabove says:

    It is great to watch high

  5. October 21st, 2013 at 4:41 pm
    tyref says:

    movie the wrath of cain is it based on a true story and true events

  6. December 4th, 2013 at 1:58 pm
    alex says:

    All animal movies are awesome hope they just keep making it

  7. January 28th, 2014 at 9:45 am
    Des says:

    This was actually a really good movie and left me wondering about the true story behind it. I wonder if it is really based on a true story and what is the true story behind this movie. Ya it’s one of the many movies that shows the shit side of prison life but in all honesty if we as a country are willing to send people to jail we should see what the prisoners have to deal with. Movies and documentaries based on prison life should not be ignored because our system definitely needs some help and the reality is that we should really try to rehabilitate those in need who want to change. Our prison systems fail these inmates and further the violence and illegal activity

  8. February 6th, 2014 at 6:27 pm
    Jenny says:

    I have become increasingly aware of the inadequacies of our justice system over the last few years. While this movie wasn’t an artistic gem, it did really impress on me just how broken the system is. I was brought to tears as I realized the impossible situation that young black men are in from the moment they are born into “hood life”.

    Contrary to the common belief that boys join gangs and sell drugs out of want or greed, I see now that most of them don’t really even have a choice in the matter. They exist in micro-societies that have their own sets of rules,which are often in opposition to the set of rules of American society. They can’t be in compliance with both societies to which they belong…it’s a classic double-bind, a cruel cosmic joke. While their very survival is reliant on participation in gang activity, their freedom is sacrificed by doing so. Then they are sent to prison, a whole new micro-society with another dual and conflicting set of rules that they must learn to navigate.

    Upon release, they are doomed to return, for there is no bright future awaiting a black ex-con. I imagine that even MacDonald’s wouldn’t hire them. Their only choice is in what type of criminal activity they will use to secure income to house, clothe and feed themselves with.

    This nightmare is the reality of millions of young black men in America. It will take much more than youth centers to fix. As with any problem, the first step is to recognize and admit it. This film helped me see the enormity of this terrible injustice. Now I just have to figure out what I can do to help us find a solution.

  9. June 8th, 2014 at 7:49 am
    Angela says:

    I loved this movie. Ving Rhames is one of my favorite actors. I love his work.

  10. August 17th, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    Marie Mack says:

    I really loved this movie. Living here in Chicago,IL, something in this nature I believe would have to take place for the VIOLENCE /KILLINGS to stop. There need to be some World Leader somewhere who will be willing to met with the youth here. God Bless America! WE NEED IT.

  11. December 3rd, 2014 at 10:07 pm
    BIANCA says:


  12. February 19th, 2015 at 4:09 pm
    titty milk says:

    I REALLY LOVE DIS MOVIE but there us one major fake thing….Family can’t be in the same’s a finact

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