A Brian de Palma Film; starring Nicholas Cage and Gary Sinise
Brian de Palma hires scriptwriter David Koepp to write him a mystery which will allow for a maximum of gratuitious camera tricks over the course of 99 minutes. Nicolas Cage stars as an corrupt police officer; Gary Sinise plays a long-time friend of his who has risen up through the ranks of the military, and the supple breasts of Jayne Heitmeyer co-star as the Main Distraction.
The first twelve minutes are sheer breathless excitement. The next twenty minutes are okay; then the audience gets to find out the Secret of The Film and from there on the rest of the movie is a predictable bore. Five scenes of outstanding camera trickery doeth not a good movie make.
Nicolas Cage seems to have a very limited range -- his wide-eyed wild man routine strongly resembles his performance in Face/Off. Gary Sinise appears extremely one-dimensional -- compared to his performances in Forrest Gump and Apollo 13, this is drek.
Invariably, at one point Cage is beaten to a bloody pulp, as in so many of his action movies (what is it about him that directors can't resist disfiguring?).
Rent, if you must. Don't buy, don't waste any time discussing the plot. Don't argue about the ending, either. With a less predictable script, this film could have been fun -- a pity, really. Considering the breathtaking beginning, "pity" seems too weak a word: It's a grade "A" disappointment (a bit like Sphere in that respect).
If have made the mistake of seeing the movie (either on film or on video), you might have wondered about the last ten seconds of the film, after all the credits have passed, follow this link (or click on the image below) for a clue or two.
(Image taken from the DVD of "Snake Eyes", © 1999 by Touchstone Pictures)
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