A few tweaks here and there, and these guys could be a force to be reckoned with.
Dog Eat Dog
A trio of ex-cons, deep in the underbelly of Los Angeles, are hired for a kidnapping.
When the botched abduction goes awry and gets completely out of control, the cons find themselves on the run, vowing to stay out of prison at all costs…….
After the wonderful return to form Performance Cage gave us with Army Of One, I had high hopes for this film. After all, it’s a reunion for Dafoe and Cage, last seen together in the bonkers but mesmerising Wild At Heart, and of course, Paul Schrader has had his hands in some of the finest cinema released in the last forty years.
But then you have to look at the other side of the coin. Schrader made the woeful The Canyons, and even as a die hard Cage fan, I have to admit he’s made a few stinkers in the past few years.
And then there was their last collaboration together, the truly woeful Dying Of The Light.
This is a different beast altogether, and if you can get past the truly twisted first ten minutes, you will find quite a bizarre, but brave crime film that has a slight psychedelic seventies feel to it all.
The trouble is with Schrader and his recent films is that there is a sparseness when it comes to characters to root for, and here is no different whatsoever. Dafoe is the main victim here on that subject. He oozes hate from his every pore, and from the first minute his character appears on screen, you know the narrative isn’t going to be kind to him.
And this is where the trope of the ex-con gang rears it’s ugly head.
Every gang in this type of sub-genre has the atypical gang of the leader (Cage), the loose cannon (Dafoe), and of course, the muscle, whose name escapes me (I’m not perfect).
The film doesn’t tread any new ground, the ex-cons on the run has been done to death, but it’s just good to see Cage putting in another decent performance, and Dafoe firing on all cylinders in his most lively performance for some time.
It’s not going to be for all tastes, but it’s entertaining and experimental enough to keep you watching.