Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the devil
Sympathy for the devil
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Nicolas Cage playing a mad, sarcastic carjacking maniac with control problems? Count us in. Sympathy for the Devil is a dark comedy thriller by director Yuval Adler (The Secrets We Keep, Bethlehem), where Nicolas Cage is completely unchained. Entertaining to watch? Yes. Does it get old? Definitely. Does it matter? In the end, no.

However, Cage does not take any new creative steps here (see Vampire’s Kiss, Raising Arizona and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans for peak manic Cage). He seems buoyed up by the critical acclaim he received from 2022’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent but also impervious to how WTF-ness that was Renfield. This Nic Cage that we see in Sympathy for the Devil is kind of a synthesis between those two “performances.” However, this tale has been driven by Luke Paradise who works as a screenplay writer.

In Joel Kinnaman’s latest movie role he plays David – a straight-laced husband on his way to Las Vegas hospital to witness his wife deliver their child; however things do not go as planned after all. Just then, out of nowhere comes this spiky red-haired guy dressed in flaming red jacket (Cage) who just hijacks him and shouts at him about being taken out of state in terms of driving only. This crazy road trip begins full of various Cage histrionics.

Early on, David desperately pleads with his secret companion to avoid putting him through what may lie ahead.“I have a family emergency,” David insists. To which his passenger, angry eyes widening, points a gun and barks: “I’m your family emergency now.” Onward they go, with David continually asking the intruder why he’s doing what he’s doing. “Sometimes, the worst is exactly what you should assume,” the stranger tells David at one point, then reveals he wants to see his mother, who apparently is dying in a hospital in a nearby state. David knows better. His unwelcome passenger is unhinged.

As the film progresses, we realize that the mystery man is out for revenge and that he mainly focuses on David. But why? They’ve never met. “Tell me the ‘truth’,” his carjacker scoffs at him dubiously. For David this is confusing and disturbing as he worries about his wife in hospital. He’s always planning an escape yet with minutes ticking away, David feels trapped by the troubled guy in the back seat. The police though show up which was unexpected.

At this juncture, the script takes a drastic turn. After spotting some patrol cars, David decides to accelerate too quickly with devastating results. At this moment however, our mystery man is sitting on the front seat of the car with a skillful display of acting as if he were slippery narcissistic mind-bending frothing-at-the-mouth con artist tinged with something close to personality disorder – you get what I mean anyway – in many scenes where Cage plays teacher or god-like figure of some kind . As a matter of fact, you can’t stop watching him anymore even if you wanted it so badly. Well, that’s another tour de force for the books from Cage! However depending on just Cage’s frenetic performance shouldn’t be our ultimate end game plan

Nicolas Cage, in nearly every film he stars in, captures the viewer’s attention. However, Cage ends up being overdone or used too much by the script of Sympathy for the Devil. Yuval Adler, the film’s director must have been really excited working with an actor like Nicholas Cage who gives himself wholly to any role that he plays. Even though the director does a good job at trying to keep things as real as possible it is apparent that at its core Sympathy for the Devil is a vehicle for Cage to let loose his stream of consciousness meandering and devouring surroundings.

The script “Luke Paradise” has three parts; the last section occurs in a diner. Every part of this movie contains more drama and danger than the preceding one. Diners scene is actually reminiscent of another upcoming film called The Passenger however strange it sounds. In this movie, Kyle Gallner plays a troubled soul who takes others with him on his trips through life. If these two movies could be merged into one then perhaps you get what I am saying since Sympathy for the Devil needs some grounding while The Passenger requires some zestfulness. Both films are pretty fine but one watching them you feel they could have been better.

However, there isn’t such big-budget-film available from major studios like Sympathy for the Devil offers its audiences. There is enough material here to hold your interest and keep you engaged throughout. Nic Cage? Sure thing! Although there was something interesting about Joel Kinnaman’s turn in this movie and what was happening beneath it all was intriguingly mysterious. You will not see last 20 minutes coming. The twister which sneaks on us may elicit an approval wink or simply indifference from our part… By anyway, if you desire a wild cage movie set during nighttime that would ultimately be about two men facing their pasts then fasten your seatbelts because you are in for a ride. It knows how to put the pedal to the metal.

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