Starring: Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook
Director: Paul Schrader
Vivid and stylised, with hints of Cohen Brothers, Tarantino and Fear And Loathing, this film is based on a novel by Edward Bunker, a career criminal turned writer and actor. It’s about as crazy and weird as you’d expect, but no less enjoyable for that.
The visuals reminded me a bit of scenes from Natural Born Killers, shifting in style and tone based on the emotions or outlook of the character, though it’s far less vibrant than this film.
Three ex-cons, Cage, Defoe and Cook, carry on their criminal for hire racket til they’re offered one last job to end them all: kidnap the child of a man who owes money to the wrong guy.
Sounds kind of deriviative, right? I suppose in a way it’s an homage to all these heist/crime/one-last-job films, and it ticks a few of the standard hapless criminal genre boxes too. But it’s also a film with it’s own personality, and with the huge personalities of it’s three major players, who are thoroughly enjoying chewing up the scenery. One standout for me is Cage’s character starting to speak like Bogart in the final scenes. It’s weird and wonderful.
I can’t say I loved this film, but I do love a Nicolas Cage flick, and Dafoe as comically insecure psycho is also oddly entertaining.
See It If: you like Tarantino, Cohen crime films, or Nic Cage craziness. This film is not amazing, but it’s weirdly amusing.