But sequences do not a complete film make. The plot begins in a clever and intriguing fashion. But almost as if those writers were sacked and new ones brought in, the script proceeds to include clichés and unbelievable coincidences propelling it to loose all it’s earlier cleverness and just run on empty to a dark and unoriginal conclusion. (Albeit with magnificent yet unnecessary effects while it kept me in suspense in between groans of unbelievably, a clever ending could have made the whole thing worthwhile. Instead we get an updating of a Spielberg classic.
A friend of mine believes there are actually two Nick Cages. One who makes class films with award winning acting and another who makes action films by the numbers. It’s of course the latter here. You can interchange Cage in this film with any number of his action opuses. All the other actors are just adequate or less. Rose Byrne goes over the top as she screams to herself (in Octo-mom fashion) while driving. Chandler Canterbury as Cage’s son is competent but Director Alex Pyros just wasn’t isn’t able to lead him to the warmth for the character that is key. Pyros’ past films such as I Robot and The Crow lack the same quality.
The film touches on many genres and Marco Beltrami comes through on all counts with a winning Bernard Herriman-like score that adds to the suspense. Richard Learoyd's editing is top notch and you don't have to strain yourself as you do in many action films due to quick edits that don't let you see what's going on. Cinematography by Simon Duggan is more a technical marvel than artistic. At times it looks like 70’s drive-in fare.
No doubt kids will have a good time. It may be too scary for those under 10.