SNAKE EYES directed by BRIAN DePALMA

“It takes so much effort, bravery, talent, and skill to even finish a movie, let alone make a good one and it takes so little to write a review, but I also have to be honest. This one just didn’t do it for me.”

Snake Eyes: 2 out of 5

I am currently on a Brian DePalma binge and somewhat limited by what is streaming for free, so I decided to watch Snake Eyes, starring Nicolas Cage.

DePalma has said he is fascinated by confined worlds and what better example than a casino that goes into lock down due to the assassination of a political figure? The story is a Hitchcockian whodunit with twists and turns throughout. Perhaps the most interesting facet of the film is DePalma’s use of the Rashomon technique as we see the same period of crucial time from several perspectives in order to help fill in the details of the events leading up to the assassination.

The movie is riddled with DePalma’s signature moves. There are lots of long takes, point of views, split diopters, Dutch angles, and bird’s eye views that float over walls. There are saturated set pieces, bright red blood spatters, and attractive women throughout. If you are like me and have a special place in your heart for the over exaggerated, testosterone fueled atmosphere that permeates all of DePalma’s films, this movie is worth the watch for that aspect alone.

On the other hand, to me and I have to assume… no, to hope that for many others the problem with this movie is Cage. He is at his best when he takes it down a notch and starts to show some actual empathy and humanity. He is at his worst when he is ringside, or in a hallway, or in someone’s face screeching in timed spells of forced anger and what I can only assume is authentic insanity. Whether it was DePalma’s direction or Cage’s provocation, it seems like every conversation in the film escalates to yelling. It becomes exhausting and like I said, it doesn’t always come across as authentic.

Would I recommend this movie? Unless you are a big DePalma fan or are looking for a crazy Nick Cage role to give you a good laugh, no – not really. It pains me to give a negative review to any filmmaker, especially a master like DePalma. It takes so much effort, bravery, talent, and skill to even finish a movie, let alone make a good one and it takes so little to write a review, but I also have to be honest. This one just didn’t do it for me.

@MattRomary

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