Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snake Eyes (1998)

It's easy to roll your eyes or shrug when it comes to, respectively, Nicholas Cage and Brian DePalma.  I feel no need to point out their uneven, sometimes reckless careers, their stubborn unwillingness to behave, their bizarre turns as actor and director.  But together in Snake Eyes something almost perfect happens--and sure it's reckless and bizarre, like the man said; but also (as each has managed before and since) so aggressive in knowing this that I grin and more than bear it.  From the famous opening sequence--a continuous shot that could be a pretty good short-subject thriller on its own--to the determined use of space--that mazelike convention center buffeted by winds and bad guys--to Cage's own headlong rush into everything DePalma throws at him--including Gary Sinise, following up his krazy kidnapping kop in 1996's Ransom (where Sinise was able to withstand a ride on another madman's roller coaster, the always-caffeinated Mel Gibson*)--Snake Eyes conjures, one more time, the Cage/DePalma alternate universe of sight, sound, and Outer Limits emoting that means nothing except a little world made deliriously by two of the stalwarts of this kind of good craziness.

*And don't look to me if you want Mel-bashing; I'm with Robert Downey, Jr. on this; hug the cactus, people:

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