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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Aug 13: Snake Eyes


Aug 13: Snake Eyes

"A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino."
Directed by: Brian De Palma, Rated: R, 98 minutes

What the f**k did I just watch? Snake Eyes is a bizarre little mystery flick that jumps from bizarre and over-the-top to stupid and boring. The film uses the somewhat familiar technique of telling the same story from different perspectives as the audience pieces together the puzzle along with Cage. However, the use of this technique is moot right off the bat as only 30 minutes or so into the film, we know "who dun it". The pieces that we should be putting together are already there, just haphazardly thrown together.

Cage and Lt. Dan can't even pull this shit together.

Snake Eyes follows Rick Santoro (Cage), an almost dirty cop who's too sleazy to like and too arrogant to sympathize with. He's attending a huge boxing match at an Atlantic City casino. During the bout, a sniper takes aim at the secretary of defense, who just happens to be in attendance. Chaos ensues and the crowd goes crazy, ruining the "crime scene". Santoro takes it open himself to play lead investigator and he questions the key players of the night's events, trying to unravel the mystery behind the assassination attempt. What follows is a re-telling of each person's story of the night, told in flashbacks in the perspective of that particular "player". As I mentioned, this technique turns the movie stale rather quickly, but the actual camerawork is pretty interesting to watch. A large portion of the film is in first person or told through news cameras and blends a semi "found-footage" style with the feel of a video game. 

Awesome thought: Call of Duty: Cage Ops

Cage is all over the place in Snake Eyes. As the film starts, he's over-the-top and seemingly crazy, practically coked out like the madman we know him to be. However, after the bullets fly, he immediately turns into some kind of legit badge man and the Santoro character we first meet is pretty much abandoned. It's as though the screenwriters wanted to added a little flair to Cage before he became a stoic, regular guy kind of hero but in doing so, just created a bigger mess of a film. It's a shame, because the crazy Cage is the kind of Cage I look forward to. When you tame the beast and put him in a cage (oh yeah, I went there), you tend to get a pretty shitty movie. Filmmakers need to know and recognize this fact and simply let Cage fly free with all his crazy hair styles and facial tics. Let the man do what he does.

 The wings are coming in nicely. 

Snake Eyes is not worth a watch nor my recommendation. Skip it, forget it, and move onto something else. While the film is certainly not the lowest point of Cage's career, it's down in the lower half as it never becomes much of anything. Any suspense is almost immediately taken out of the film when we discover who's behind a large part of it and turns something that could have been a decent mystery into a predictable piece of crap. It's also worth mentioning that the movie's conclusion is absolutely ridiculous and completely unnecessary and turns the tables on a movie that already has been running around with its head chopped off for 90 minutes. 

The Good:
some camerawork that's quite impressive but then also reminds you that the first person perspective can suck for the most part
The Bad:
a script so piss poor and so messy that never comes together in the end and lacks any and all direction
The Cage:
crazy, then muted... such a shame

Overall: 4.0/10
Two Cages out of Five


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