MANDY Review – Nicolas Cage’s Latest Flick is a Trippy Dark Fantasy

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Mandy Review —If you enjoy trippy dark fantasy films and volumes of violence presented with phantasmagoric glee, then this flick is for you

Mandy ReviewNicolas Cage is a truly great actor. I am a fan. But let’s face it: he’s not a one-man meme generator for nothing. His penchant for histrionic performances is legendary and that status not only well-deserved, it’s been earned time and time again.

In his new 1983-set movie Mandy, Cage plays Red—a lumberjack hellbent on revenge after his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) is murdered by a band of marauding Satanists—who screams, shouts, rages, grunts and bawls his way through a gory seek-and-destroy mission.

Mandy is an homage to the ’80s in terms of visuals. There are tinges of Dungeons and Dragons, The Evil Dead, Conan the Barbarian, and many more. But the story unfolds more like an acid-induced 1960s art film: slowly. Very, very slowly. At about the halfway point, the action picks up, grabs the audience by the throat and does not let go.

Nerd alert: People of a certain age will remember the Barry Manilow song “Mandy”—which sounded sappy on the surface, but when you really listened you realized how dark the lyrics were. I can’t help but wonder if this film might have been at least partially inspired by that song; Mandy director Panos Cosmatos is a proud music buff.

In one scene, the Satanic cult leader asks: “Do you like The Carpenters?” which could be a nod to Cage as a Carpenters-loving Ghost Rider (2007). There are also strains of Heavy Metal (1981) via animated sequences, and nods to every Iron Maiden album cover ever.

If you enjoy trippy dark fantasy films and volumes of violence presented with phantasmagoric glee, then this flick is definitely worth a look. It’s unique, for sure. If, however, you prefer mainstream movies, Mandy is most definitely not for you.

Rated R
2 Hours

Liked this Mandy review? Get times and tickets to see the film at Fandango.com.

 

Mandy Review —If you enjoy trippy dark fantasy films and volumes of violence presented with phantasmagoric glee, then this flick is for you

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

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