UK Release date: 24th August 1990
Watched on Terrestrial PVR Monday 23rd September 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have to admit I knew very little about this one before viewing. I have seen copies of the DVD in many a bargain bin but never paid it much heed. On discovering it was directed by David Lynch I decided to give it a go when it appeared in the TV listings recently. So what did I think; well, it’s got Lynch all over it with many of his tropes well to the fore and I did like it, although it did have its problems. I’ll tell you more after this very brief summary.
After a spell in prison for manslaughter, Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) gets out and is met by his girl, Lula Fortune (Laura Dern). The pair decides to drive across country from Cape Fear to California but Lula’s domineering mother, Marietta (Diane Ladd) has other ideas. She sends a series of hit men after the couple as they travel to New Orleans and then on to a small town in Texas. This is where they run into Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe), could he be the one to cash in?
Filled with some crazy characters, this one certainly catches your attention and refuses to let go. Nicolas Cage is at his best playing the larger than life Sailor Ripley and Laura Dern does a great job as Lula. I thought Diane Ladd as Marietta was truly excellent and Willem Defoe was also great as the sleazy Bobby Peru. You cannot fail to notice the many references to ‘The Wizard of Oz’; a theme that runs throughout. Unfortunately I found the film ran too long, there’s only so long you can put up with all the craziness. It reaches a point where we lose one of the main threads that have been running through the first two thirds of the film and I found that quite distracting. Still, it’s worth a look for a decent Cage performance and the, almost comic-book, like characterisations from Lynch (well at least for the first two thirds).
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 6.9/10.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 44,027 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 52/100: (Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 80/100: (based on 42,112 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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