Being a Brian De Palma fan means defending movies that audiences don’t much like and that even a lot of critics think are silly—all of which is fine by me. (I certainly don’t expect everybody to love Mission To Mars as much as I do.) But there are some De Palma films where the widespread critical derision is baffling. Snake Eyes is one. Co-written by De Palma and his Mission: Impossible/Carlito’s Way collaborator David Koepp, Snake Eyes stars Nicolas Cage as crooked Atlantic City cop who tries to unravel a political conspiracy during the night of a heavyweight championship fight, as a massive tropical storm approaches. Cage chews the scenery and the mystery’s ridiculous, but Snake Eyes is such a crazily kinetic movie, and its Rashomon plot is so much fun—involving an assassination that different witnesses experience in different ways—that the movie overall strikes me as too lively to dismiss. The complicated tracking shots, the nifty use of surveillance footage as a narrative device, and the overhead shots of hotel rooms are all stylish and inventive, and way more rewatchable than a thousand other bland thrillers with higher Rotten Tomatoes scores. Snake Eyes airs on The Movie Channel at 10:05 p.m. Eastern.
October 09, 2014 newsreel