Starring: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard
Director: Brian De Palma
Running Time: 98 mins
Snake Eyes is an American film about an Atlantic City detective who, after a major political figure is assassinated at a boxing fight he is attending, jumps into action to find the perpetrator, and uncovers a web of lies that goes right to the top of government.
I really enjoyed this movie. A hyper-stylised neo-noir that blends modern crime and blockbuster sensibilities with the classic mark of a classic genre, Snake Eyes is a thoroughly captivating watch, complete with an as-ever energetic leading performance from Nicolas Cage.
Cage certainly isn’t the sleek, mellow kind of detective that Humphrey Bogart could always pull off back in the 1940s, but there is something delightfully anarchic about having someone so… Nicolas Cage-esque in what’s normally a role for the most grandiose of actors.
Providing great comic relief alongside an entertainingly (if not occasionally excessively) melodramatic performance, Cage is a great anchor for you to follow as the plot thickens after a political assassination with seemingly endless implications for the people held inside a boxing arena after the fact.
Complete with classic noir-esque interrogations, flashback sequences and more, Snake Eyes also makes use of differing perspectives and a very well-established sense of physical space, allowing you to understand the progression of Cage’s investigation rather effectively, only deepening your interest in the story.
Director Brian De Palma is clearly having a lot of fun with this movie, not only in the form of hyper-stylised film-noir motifs, but also with a crime story that’s more akin to a major Hollywood blockbuster, complete with government betrayals and an investigation involving missile systems and everything in between.
And just like De Palma and Cage, I too had a lot of fun with Snake Eyes. It’s not a classic of film-noir, but it’s certainly one of the most entertaining revivals of the classic genre, with an easy-to-follow story, high-octane thrills, great performances, good humour and fantastic direction throughout. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7 overall.