Dog Eat Dog - This Movie Does Not Rock
Dir: Paul Schrader
Starring Nicolas Cage, Willen Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook, Paul Schrader
Adapted by a novel by real life former criminal and one-time Mr Blue Eddie Bunker, Schrader’s latest is a low budget look at the edges of the underworld dressed as a very black comedy.
Cage, Dafoe and Cook are three ex cons who try to make it on the outside – despite Dafoe viciously killing his very large girlfriend and her very large daughter in the first three minutes. A get rich plan that involves kidnapping a child and threatens to turn them into Three Crims and a Baby, soon spirals out of control, as does just about everything they touch, as Schrader relishes the opportunity for excess, and Cage – never one to shy away from excess – is happy to join in. By the strangely baffling mystical ending, the actor is giving us his full-on Bogart and he, for one, certainly seems to be enjoying it.
Dog Eat Dog has it moments (mostly in its performances) but finds Schrader trying to balance a post-Tarantino look at low-lifery and numerous pop culture references (who is Taylor Swift?) being off-set with moments of explosive bloodiness. It really needs a lighter hand, and Schrader is not a man who has ever been noted for his levity (although he makes a fair stab on-screen as Grecco the Greek.)
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