onsdag 6 november 2019

Running With The Devil

There is a rule in the B movie fan base across the world, and it goes something like this:

* Any film with Nicolas Cage, is guaranteed to please you!

If there is any truth in this, i have no idea. But what i can tell you, is that Nicolas Cage has a very large fan base. This becomes very clear, because everytime he release a new film, people rent his films like maniacs. You simply have to wait at least 2 weeks ( if you are lucky ) to rent a physical copy of his latest film. So what is it about Nicolas Cage, that people love so much ? I think there are 2 big reasons why he is still one of the most popular actors:

* He knows how to act powerful.
* He take each of his characters very seriously.

I have seen some of his films over the years, and i will admit that not all of them are good. In fact, after Matchstick Men ( released in 2003 ), he did not no any real good performances until the 2010 film Kick Ass, and of course the really good independent film Joe ( released in 2013, actually one of his best films since Matchstick Men ). One of the problems that became obvious was that Nicolas stayed within the B movie genre, and only a few of these film were entertaining. One film that i actually enjoyed ( that some of you might not agree with me ) is the historical fantasy adventure film known as Season Of The Witch. Released in 2011, this film is directed by Dominic Sena ( who also directed the Nicolas Cage film Gone In 60 Seconds ) and is a dumb but fun adventure about two templar knights, who are supposed to transport a possessed girl to a monestary. The casting in this film is fun, you have Nicolas Cage and legendary actor Ron Perlman in the lead roles, and we have to menition legendary actor Christopher Lee in a smaller role. We also have actress Claire Foy ( who you can see in the Netflix series The Queen ). Since last year, i have not see Cage´s latest films, until i decided to watch one of his new releases called Running With The Devil. Since i know not to have any high expectations, is this one of the better Cage films in a long time, or is this another one of his films that you won´t remember ?

The Cook ( Nicolas Cage ) is a restaurant owner, and seems to be a serious business man. But he is living a double life, as his other job is as an executive in a professionally run drug circuit in the pacific northwest. The Chef is approached by the head, known as The Boss ( Barry Pepper ). He is frustrated that their shipments are being skimmed, and their street product being cut with other substances. The Boss orders The Cook to travel to Colombia, to follow through the traffic chain to find out where the product is being compromised. The Cook bring drug addict and friend The Man ( Laurence Fishburne ) on his long journey to fix things correctly. 

Even if this film brings nothing new to the table in the drug industry, i have to say this is not as terrible as you might expect it to be for a straight to DVD film with Nicolas Cage. And that is mainly because of other actors performances that helps this film. I also think that the Mexico scenes, with spanish talking actors, makes the story more realistic. Now, let´s get into the acting for a bit. Legendary actor Laurence Fishburne is one of the highlights of this film, as the drug addicted sex addict The Man. Laurence knows how to portrait an older man, who is clearly stuck with a lot of personal problems. And his sex addiction is not helping, especially combined with cocaine. One of my favourite performances in this film comes from actor Adam Goldberg ( who you might remember from 2 Days In Paris ) as the crazy character The Snitch. He does not have many scenes unfortunately, but the scenes he does are some of the best in this film. There are ( some ) other performances that works as well. Nicolas Cage does not go all in as he usually does in some of his films, he is actually pretty quiet in his role as The Cook. And i am ok with that, since that works for his character. I would not say that it is a strong performance though. The story is divided into a lot of different characters, so you will have to be patient to understand what´s going on. My biggest problem with Running With The Devil is that there is nothing here that we have not seen before. The drug industry have been portrayed much stronger, in a classic such as Traffic. With that said, i do believe that this film manage to deliver some entertainment through some of the crazy characters. If you are a Nicolas Cage fan, i think you should see this film to see him do a different kind of character, than most of his straight to DVD films. But most of all, you should see this film if you want to see Laurence Fishburne go nuts on drugs, you never thought you would see that, right ? This is director Jason Cabell´s full feature debut film, and this is not that bad for his first film. Got nothing to watch on VOD ? Give this film a chance, and who knows, you might not fall asleep.

Rating: DDD

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