Projections - Movie Reviews

Snake Eyes

Nicolas Cage is in top form as Atlantic City homicide cop Rick Santoro.

Santoro is quite a character.  He likes flashy clothes, talking fast and living high.  He bets with a bookie whom he pays off with payola he collects at the end of each week.  In fact, there's nothing that doesn't have a price tag, except maybe his loyalty.

In a wonderfully chaotic opening, Santoro is attending a heavyweight fight at a casino arena.  He is invited there by his childhood friend, Navy Commander Kevin Dunne (a tight-lipped, serious Gary Sinese), who is there guarding the Secretary of Defense.

When the Secretary and a mysterious blonde (Carla Gugino) are shot by a sniper, the camera trips   from face to face, introducing the audience to a lot of possible suspects.

The plot involves a missile system that the Defense Secretary might be endorsing and the ramifications of his decision.

Director Brian DePalma (Body Double) keeps the fast moving action confined to the arena and casino hotel.

Before the shooting, the camera follows Santoro through the corridors as he makes bets, shakes down a couple of bad guys, flirts with the "round girl," and shouts out encouragement to the champ, all while taking calls on his cell phone.

Flashbacks are generously used to tell pieces of the story from different witnesses' perspectives.  Cage is a ball of energy and he keeps your attention focused on him at all times.  He gives a stunning performance.

So much is going on in this film, you really have to pay attention.  But you'll be repaid in spades if you do because this is one intelligent, exciting thriller.

It is rated R for violence and obscenities.

Snake Eyes


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