90 Minutes or Less Mom & Dad

 

Moms & Dads contains many of the critical ingredients for a classic Nic Cage movie. All his dialogue is either whispered or screamed,he gets top billing yet only appears in about half the film, and his performance ranges wildly from frame to frame. Cage’s one-person quest to star in every movie ever made was going so well until the streaming boom. So we’ll have to make to with the mere 31% of all films that Cage is currently averaging. Making 73 movies a year, the law of averages suggests that out of that dumpster fire of awfulness, something amazing will emerge as a glorious phoenix with Nic Cage’s face! Sadly, this is not that movie.

Life in the suburbs has crushed the life out of Brent (Cage), bored by life, his marriage to Kendall (Selma Blair) isn’t as solid as it once was, middle-age has come calling. However, things take a shocking turn when an epidemic washes through the suburban community that sees parents filled with murderous intent on their offspring.

As set-ups go, Mom & Dad has a serviceable one, but it fails to entirely run with the brazen craziness. There is plenty of fun to be had, yet I can’t shake the feeling that the whole thing could have been more effectively executed. Cage shows up at the beginning and heads off to work, then we don’t see him for a bit, a brief scene at his place of work, and we’re still ten minutes or so from full-on Cage Rage. For a film that just hits 82 minutes, Mom & Dad suffers from a slow start, and a rushed ending.

Serving as a weird reverse version of the fun Cooties, Mom & Dad lacks the humour the concept suggests. Just slapping an upbeat song over shocking violence isn’t comedy, and things ending because the movie ran out of movie left me feeling short-changed. That said, when Cage is uncaged, he’s a hilariously scary, and channelling at least four different characters into a single performance.

Having enjoyed Cage enormously in the brilliantly crazy Mandy, he remains an actor that can be watchable in just about anything. Whether or not the movie itself is any good, that’s another matter altogether. By ordinary standards, Mom & Dad is a watchable 2-star film, but by Nic Cage’s recent standards it’s a solid 3 star flick. The upside is, in the time it has taken you to read this, Nicolas Cage has starred in three movies, and one of them features him as a phoenix.

★★★

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