To me, it always seems like he's acting, like I can never suspend my disbelief enough to think "That's a real character." I always think, in this example, "That's Nicolas Cage pretending to be a Marine."
It wasn't much of stretch to imagine him--acting poorly, of course--in an Ultrarunning movie. You wouldn’t be able to believe that he's a real Ultrarunner; you'd know that it was Nicolas Cage only pretending to be an Ultrarunner. Imagine that Nicolas Cage syrupy voice saying lines like these:
"You run up the trail. You puke your guts out. Then you wipe your mouth and keep on running."
"Your manners are terrible [cocks pistol, points it at a rude runners head, at an aid station]. You say "Thank You" to the nice volunteers because it's the right thing to do, because nobody's holding a gun to their heads like I am doing to you, making them stand out here for hours handing you water."
"I stopped wearing shoelaces. Now I just ziptie my shoes on my feet and keep the same shoes on the whole race. If I die during the run it'll be like the ultra equivalent of dying with my boots on."
"Pissing in the woods? Crapping? That's for wussies. Real men can hold their stuff."
[channeling Steve Prefontaine] "A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts."
"I don't use Body Glide or any of those products on my junk or anywhere. Lube is for wimps. I want the total experience, pain and all."
"Buckles? You mean those shiny trinkets you get for finishing a 100 miler? I keep my buckles right up here, where it really counts [taps head]."