this movie has classic Cage swagger

From director Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver) comes a violent crime thriller that made me laugh more than I thought it would. The film occasionally touches on serious issues like police brutality and the failure of the justice system, but it’s mostly a bloody, pulpy, crime thriller and I had a good time. It’s always refreshing to watch something insane like this.

Nicholas Cage and Willem Defoe star as criminal buddies who met while they were in prison. Now that they’re free, they dive deeper into the drug-fuelled underbelly of the city, partnering up on a crime spree and sloppily killing whoever stands in their way. The chemistry of Cage/Defoe is fun to watch and the movie succeeds because of them. Defoe’s character Mad Dog is repulsive, but has all the best lines of dialogue and is oddly likeable at times.

Dog Eat Dog is grotesquely funny and weird. My favourite scene is a quick flashback to the guys high on coke in a hotel room, laughing and squirting each other with ketchup and mustard. It’s presented like a “those were the good times” kind of scene and it’s like the funniest thing ever. That’s what I liked so much about this film - it’s not afraid to be dumb and absurd and over the top.

The direction seems amateurish at times but it’s a low budget production so that’s forgivable. It’s a good script, and an entertaining ride. The last few scenes are dreamy and brutal, and left me wanting more.