NEWSFLASH!


Friday — May 27th, 2022: Well well well, another fantastic week in the books! [READ MORE]

🍿🍿


Dog Eat Dog


🍿🍿


🎙️ EPISODE 490: 06.16.22

Starting in 2020, I decided to watch & review the entire Nicolas Cage filmography in alphabetical order. This is 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔜𝔢𝔞𝔯 𝔬𝔣 ℭ𝔞𝔤𝔢 – Chapter 20.

Jesus Christ, where to start with this one. Well, we have a new leader in the clubhouse, folks... for WORST Nicolas Cage movie yet! And who woulda thunk it was helmed by an actual honest to goodness O.G. filmmaker PLUS co-stars one of the greatest actors of all-time! Dog Eat Dog is a lazy, unfunny, pointless mess and it features some of the most cringe dialogue ever written. It is not so bad it is good because it is so bad that it leaves you feeling nauseous and tired and wondering, "what the fuck am I doing with my life?"
The film begins with Willem Dafoe cloaked in a sickly pink hue inside a shitty house watching garbage TV and doing drugs. When he goes into the bathroom it is color-graded with a dark blue. These stylistic lighting choices and aesthetics (including an overlay of TV images) are never utilized again. This is a movie that does not give a fuck and it lets you know that from the very first second.

We know 2010s Cage says yes to any sizable role, but why did Dafoe do this? One can only guess that legendary director Paul Schrader (First Reformed, scripts for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and so many more, and notably NOT the writer here) pulls enough weight where actors wanna work with him regardless of the project. His character here is a bit like the needy Klaus from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou only also a completely deranged and utter psychopath. The film begins with him getting zonked and zoning out to the boob tube before receiving a strange phone call where he says he "guts fish for a living" ....


Then he brutally kills his girlfriend and her daughter after she catches him looking at AsianTeenSquirters.com ...


And it's all downhill from there. Look, I will adhere to the style of these posts and recap the 'plot' so much as there is one. Essentially, three thugs/prison buddies played by Cage, Dafoe and some quasi-familiar looking actor named Christopher Matthew Cook are all finally out of the can and ready to wreak havoc/do a final big crime so that they can retire and/or go straight. They have the very stupid names of Troy, Mad Dog and Diesel, respectively. Paul Schrader acts in this one too and he has an even stupider name: Grecco The Greek. The saving grace is that it's only 90 minutes long.

This is billed as a black comedy, which it is not, but that nevertheless provides the single consistent through-line for the picture: endless and completely flailing dialogue which is often centered around pop culture. It is all a 100% failed effort to be humorous. We're introduced to Cage's character with some typically horrendous voice-over...


They get together to celebrate Cage's release from prison at a strip club and bitch about Facebook or something...


(These are the only scenes shot in black and white btw.)

Most of the movie takes place around Cleveland (lol) and he goes to meet with Paul Schrader's character about getting some work doing crimes and stuff...


This is the first job: pretending to be cops and robbing some guy. Why is that scene shot like that? Why is Paul Schrader acting? He can't act. But, don't ask these questions, simpletons. Cage knows all of C-Town and his guys are ready to roll.

It's just the dumbest crime movie action and I'll spare you from posting any of clips of it. After they pull it off, they have themselves a little party...


This is 2000s Bringing Out the Dead energy in 2016 and you just love to see it.

Diesel chats up a nice lady at the casino where they're partying and the dialogue is meant to be natural and real (I guess), but it's just... really bad...


You see, our three dudes are all striving for something more in life. And they all have their different tactics on how to get there. But it basically boils down to getting some action at the casino: Diesel with his girl next door at the bar, Dafoe with an Asian masseuse whom he can't his dick hard with, and Cage with a classy call girl whom he wants to take to France (?)...


We cut back and forth with all of these three scenarios at once with some painfully dumb-looking wipe cuts...

Diesel talks about how much water it takes to grow an almond and for fuck's sake why are they bringing up Elliot Smith?! Elliot Smith doesn't deserve to be within a million-mile radius of this shit movie...


Diesel is also casually racist when he says that rap music made him hate all music period...


The next morning they meet up for breakfast and talk about how they all struck out the night before and Dafoe loves carpeting...


This is also the beginning of Cage sort of acting like Humphrey Bogart for no real reason. This will come back into play in the stupidest way possible at the end of the movie. And he brings it up specifically at the next meeting with Paul Schrader and some other dude. Their conversation is — you're not gonna believe this — bad. It's really bad. They set up the next job (a baby-napping; it's okay because it's a BABY, they reckon, and not a like a 4-year-old, so don't even worry about it, they would NEVER do that) and Cage has some voiceover thoughts on police statistics when it comes to solving kidnap cases...


They go to do the job and Dafoe immediately blows some dude's head straight off his body...


God I hate this movie so fucking much. This is the worst line of dialogue in the whole thing...


Cage gets a call about how that guy whose head exploded was actually the main dude dad who they were gonna try and get the ransom from. Whoops. Also, they shot this on a super windy day and Cage's jacket fills up with air. Also whoops. No time to do another take I guess...


So it's warped Three Men and a Baby time? Only, nope, they drop the nanny and the baby off at a dilapidated house, lock them in and we never see or hear about any of that for the rest of the whole fucking film.

Then, totally out of the blue, Dafoe brings up the fact that he committed that double homicide three days earlier at the beginning of the movie as he and Diesel go to dispose the body of the headless ransom guy. They're going to bring it to the same run-down building near Toledo where he dumped the girlfriend and her daughter's body. On their way, they have a heart-to-heart about wanting to change and the audience isn't believing any of it for one goddam second...


At the body drop hut, they continue that conversation and it lands on the topic of Sanjay Gupta, the CNN doctor (???)...


They fall through the floor onto a super gross pile of decomposing bodies and Diesel is so annoyed he shoots Willem Dafoe in the head...


RIP Mad Dog. Then they cut to flashback of the three bros squirting each other with mustard and ketchup (??????)...


These are choices, man. I don't have anything to say about them, frankly. Let's just move on.

Diesel randomly decides he has to go grocery shopping so they stop at the store and a couple of cops immediately get on their asses because he has a gun and is covered in sludgy blood and Cage's car is past inspection. Double whoops yet again. In the parking lot, Cage punches a lady cop in the face and it sets off a delirious two-minute sequence where Cage gets arrested, Diesel flees only to have a heart attack while driving (?) and crashes a stolen police car and dies, and a random innocent bystander gets shot through a barbershop window as he's getting his hair cut. It's all set to some D-level music featuring what sounds like a sound-byte of Cage saying the word "gotta be samurais" over and over again...


I mean, that was incredibly dumb but it was at least somewhat entertaining. Gotta give credit where credit is due?

Then some crooked cops get their hands on Cage and beat the living shit out of him before tying and dragging him from their police car...


Then we have a mysterious and slow cut to a scene at a diner. Inside, there is a news report about the shootout and violence and how both suspects (Cage and Diesel) are dead. An elderly African-American couple get up after a sharing a nice dinner and walk to their car. Only who's outside waiting for them? It's Cage, who is apparently not dead (???) and he's there to carjack them and take them hostage. I mean, don't worry about that. Instead, worry about how he is now doing a full-on Humphrey Bogart impression for the rest of the movie...


I'm not going to think deeply about any of this or about what it supposed to 'mean' etc. It's definitely not worth it! Sure, I suppose I could google "why is Cage acting like Humphrey Bogart in the movie Dog Eat Dog" but I could do so many other things with my time, countless things, literally anything else. This is a crap movie; that has been established. But even up to the bitter end, there are subtle flickers of talent shining through, either from the bat-shit performances of two legitimately good actors or from a bonafide filmmaker like Schrader. Like this extremely wonderful cut from Cage's eyes to the lights of a police car so it looks like he has red devil eyes...


The movie ends with a huge shoot-out where Cage and the African-American couple get killed by the cops. And this solidifies your decision not to think about the point because the point obviously is that there is no point...


THE END. THE VERDICT: 2 CAGES OUT OF 10 • CLICK HERE for all 𝔗𝔥𝔢 𝔜𝔢𝔞𝔯 𝔬𝔣 ℭ𝔞𝔤𝔢 Chapters + Ongoing Rankings.

CHRONOLOGICALLY
EPISODE 489 - (YOU ARE HERE) - EPISODE 490 ⫸

Dog Eat Dog is a 2016 American black comedy action thriller film directed by Paul Schrader (also served as the cast of the film for the first time). The screenplay by Matthew Wilder is based on Edward Bunker's 1995 novel of the same name. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe. The film was the closing entry for the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It was released on May 20, 2016.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

LISTEN: FULL ARCHIVE