Sympathy for the Satan premieres in theaters July 28
Realism’s stranglehold on movie performing has conditioned American moviegoers to to reject stylized performances as inherently laughable. This turns into a selected problem when discussing the work of Nicolas Cage, whose ironic recognition over the previous decade revolves across the idea of “Cage rage”: these moments when the Oscar winner pushes himself to extremes on digicam. And sure, if the tone of the portrayal doesn’t match the tone of the movie, that may get foolish. However should you get out of Cage’s means, he’ll take you the place it’s worthwhile to go. Sympathy for the Satan understands this.
The title makes it sound like a horror film, and Cage’s costuming – his hair is dyed purple and black, and he wears a swimsuit jacket to match – suggests an Angel Coronary heart/“Louis Cyphere” (say the title out loud) kind of state of affairs. And the movie does tease the potential for supernatural parts all through its fast 90-minute runtime. However, for essentially the most half, this can be a crime thriller, pushed by monologues, mistaken id, and a soundtrack of classic soul tracks that match the temper and make for nice journey companions.
Joel Kinnaman co-stars as “The Driver,” an strange schmuck who, because the story begins, is driving down the Las Vegas Strip on his approach to the hospital the place his (unnamed) spouse is in labor with their second baby. The Driver pulls into the hospital parking storage, parks, and is rooting via his hospital bag when a thriller man – performed by Cage and referred to within the credit as “The Passenger” – forces his means into the backseat and pulls a gun. “Drive,” he says.
The Driver begs The Passenger to spare him: He’s a household man, please simply let him return to the hospital, it’s an emergency, and many others. The Passenger doesn’t care. They preserve going, out of the town and into the desert. From there, a lot of the movie is a two-hander that takes place contained in the confines of The Driver’s automotive. Kinnaman, finest recognized for his roles on The Killing and Altered Carbon in addition to within the Suicide Squad motion pictures, holds his personal. However a superb little bit of his function includes wanting nervously within the rearview mirror as Cage monologues within the again seat – which is ideal.
Cage will need to have been taken with author Luke Paradise’s script; he’s listed as a producer within the credit (which is not all the time the case for the actor’s prolific output), and that is Paradise’s first screenplay to really get made. And Cage sells his strains with gusto, tormenting Kinnaman together with his paranoiac ravings. Just a few miles into their drive, The Passenger begins needling The Driver to inform him who he actually is, which provides a layer of intrigue: Is The Passenger misinformed, or is The Driver hiding one thing? Finally, they pull right into a roadside diner, the place the stress explodes in bloody, fiery Tarantino-esque vogue.
The best way that the battle between The Driver and The Passenger performs out is pure crime cliché. And the story begins to lose momentum as soon as The Driver’s true intentions are revealed. However the journey to get there’s compelling, because of Cage’s efficiency.
The Passenger is a manic, probably psychotic profession prison with a Boston accent who likes to wave his gun round with the security off, and Cage performs all of his tics to the rafters. He takes the viewers on a roller-coaster journey, careening from weepy despair to anger so intense his eyeballs bulge out of their sockets. However there’s an trustworthy wild-card hazard to the portrayal as effectively: A scene the place Cage dances to “I Love the Nightlife (Disco ’Spherical)” brushes up in opposition to camp, however shifts again to menace earlier than the snickering actually settles.
All the things else about Sympathy for the Satan is skilled, however unexceptional. The colour grading is your normal digital orange and blue, and the cinematography is unobtrusive save for a handful of slo-mo pictures that stick out in a adverse means. And the consequences and total manufacturing worth are spectacular, given the movie’s presumably modest funds. This can be a workforce that is aware of tips on how to allocate its assets properly – which incorporates letting Nicolas Cage do his factor.