Director: Panos Cosmatos
Year Released: 2018
Red (Nicolas Cage) leads a quiet existence with his true love Mandy (Andrea Riseborough), but their bliss is ruined when she's abducted by a Jesus-y cult called The Children of the New Dawn - led by deviant Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache) - and lit on fire in front of Red, who vows revenge. No one can ever deny that Cosmatos (the son of a filmmaker) has a unique visual sense - lens flare galore and bright, fluorescent colors - but what he lacks is the intuition of a storyteller: it takes a full hour before things even begin to pick up the pace (before that it's all ambience and set design), and then it allows Cage to go spastic (not a stretch), dispatching mutants and humans with an axe, a chainsaw or even his bare hands. The influences are way too apparent - the work of Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, Sam Raimi, etc. can be noticed - and could have used some development on the 'vengeance' angle: the garish cinematography is there to try to hide the hollowness ... and it fails. If you need to take drugs to 'properly experience' a movie, that should a warning sign ... not unlike needing a few extra drinks at the bar to take the iffy hookup home.