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Nicholas Cage barely saves Sympathy For The Devil

Nicholas Cage continues to bring his nouveau shamanism to the screen in his latest film, Sympathy for the Devil, from RLJE Films. Yuval Adler is in the director's chair while Luke Adler pens the screenplay. Running a quick ninety minutes, Sympathy for the Devil introduces us to a man known only as The Driver (Joel Kinnaman) as he finishes a shift and gets ready to drop his son off with relatives so he can go to the hospital to be with his pregnant wife.

The evening takes a sudden turn as a man is forced to drive a stranger (Cage) at gunpoint. As events unfold, it becomes clear that he's caught up in a risky game of deceit, where things are not always as they seem. Cage's erratic and intense behavior is evident from the start, and the director wants the audience to believe in his passionate portrayal.

In his role, Cage is required to showcase his unique and exaggerated mannerisms, which are emphasized by his striking red hair and subtle New England accent. He plays the role of an unknown car thief from Las Vegas with a personal score to settle. Potential viewers should be aware that most of the movie is set in a car constantly in motion. For the most part, the film belongs to Cage, and Kinnaman is just on autopilot.

At first, I thought the movie would be similar to Collateral but with a lower budget. Most of the film takes inside a car, which could be more cinematic despite being in the lively city of Vegas. Because of this, the movie depends heavily on dialogue and the changing dynamics between the characters. The script can sometimes be engaging with its clever exchanges and brutal action scenes.

The director, Yuval Adler, employs a polished and skillful visual style that captures the essence of classic crime sagas from an earlier era, effectively maintaining a lively pace throughout the film. However, when the credits rolled, it felt like the film would have a better reception as a Black Mirror episode than a traditional narrative feature.

Final Grade: C


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