Run Time: 95 Mins
What To Expect: Poor man’s early Tarantino/Guy Ritchie movie, awkward mess
Don’t bother. You might know things are bad in a VODmit movie when Nicolas Cage shows up and can’t muster the will to troll. And you might think, well, maybe he’s putting some effort in because it’s an underrated movie that didn’t quite get a fair full theatrical release. Well this is a ‘black comedy’, so if Cage is defeated in a comedy then you know that it’s even worse. This is schlock from a 70 year old director who apparently chose the wrong career path in life, decades later, Paul Schrader is still making bad movies.
The film sees criminals Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe and some F-lister (sorry, but I’m lacking the will power to Google this person) recruited by super criminal Paul Schrader, to rip off other criminals. Yeah, that’s Paul Schrader the director, who mumbles his lines so that we have to reverse the movie and listen twice to get a handle on the plot. Once is bad enough, but anyway. Cage is the leader, the F-lister is … their friend and Dafoe is the ‘Mad Dog’. Further into the movie, they’re tasked with kidnapping the baby of a rival criminal who simply won’t abide by the rules of the underworld in order to have him pay up some money. Trust me, none of this is as good as it sounds.
This movie hard to watch. The story is a mess that tries to rip off 1990’s Tarantino and 2000s Guy Ritchie movies, but apparently doesn’t have anything central going on, or understand what made those movies funny. One minute it’s coarse, directionless ‘drama’, the next it’s awkward, unfunny ‘comedy’. The movie tries to supplement these shortcomings with egregious violence. Here is a movie that is Rated R by way of Willem Dafoe stabbing fat ladies to death then executing their teenage daughters, while Nicolas Cage hangs out with overpriced whores. Unfortunately this sounds better in words than it is in practice.
I’ll admit, a few scenes got me. Such as when Dafoe blows the head off a fellow lowlife with a shotgun or that part when Cage pulls this strange face when he’s supposed to be high on something. But otherwise, even Cage gave up on this 90 minute drag. It’s good to see Cage and Dafoe back together… but not like this.