Monday, January 08, 2007

Kiss of Death

I’m glad my impulse shopping days are behind me. I saw this on the $7.99 shelf during one of my late night “man I am bored, I guess I’ll go walk around the Wal-Marts for a while” trips. Seeing Nicolas Cage and Sam Jackson on the cover was enough to make me consider it, but instead I had the good sense to wait and put it on my Netflix queue.

Despite a superb cast, which also includes David Caruso (as the reformed ex-con tough guy with a sensitive heart), Michael Rapaport, Helen Hunt, and Stanley Tucci, the movie was just dull. The script was all over the place, often times leaving me scratching my head at what just happened and wondering why, exactly, was any of this going on. I imagine the director pictured this as some sort of neo-noir opus, but instead turned in a meandering, unimaginative highlight reel for David Caruso’s grimacing smirk.

Only Cage managed to turn in anything resembling a decent performance. While the rest of the cast was either busy going through the motions (Jackson and Tucci), or acting the hell out of their parts because there was nothing else to do with it, Cage was turning his Junior Brown into a memorable psychopath, one that’s laughable in his over the top paranoia and control freak tendencies, but also menacing in the nervous way he looks about and explodes with rage at the drop of a hat. I feel hypocritical lauding his performance while excoriating the rest of the cast for overacting, but at least his overacting was fun to watch.

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