Saturday, February 27, 2010

Deadfall (1993)

Comically bad, DTV-quality noir about a conman who gets in over his head (how bleeding original), made noteworthy for a psychotic, wheezing performance from Nicolas Cage as a (literal) heavy. Michael Biehn, disappointing a fan of his work, plays a young man who serves under the tutelage of his father, conman James Coburn, and watches him die in a con gone wrong. He finds Curly's identical twin brother (just kidding...bout the Curly part), who is a bigger shot than his brodre, and who has Cage's hulking wildebeest in his employ. The retardedly corny and unneccessary narration, the over-produced noir visuals, and the distant, barely there performances are all completely cemented in the cliches of the genre, but the film only becomes truly grotesquely garish and over-the-top when Cage is on screen. Even in relation to his most wacky performances, he is a true freak, mumbling his lines and swinging his body around like director Chris Coppola called him up 5 minutes before each scene and said, "Yo, cuz, do some lines, come around and bug out for a while, my movie needs some energy." It works like gangbusters; the film becomes unpredictable, hilariously nasty, and almost charming during the stretch of the film where he is a central figure. But alas, he gets taken out, and we are back to pointless, depressing cameos, lifeless flirting and sex scenes, and a painfully obvious con-man plot.

Slightly Recommended for fans of campy noirs and Nicolas Cage's tendency to act like a methed out freak on a leash. This is on par with any of Cages most nutty turns; he makes his Vampire's Kiss character look as restrained as Olivier in some of these scenes.

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