Sunday, September 24, 2023

A hidden gem in the form of a sensational noir western has arrived

Nicolas Cage’s career is enormously productive and full of psychedelic experiences. Both for the projects themselves and for their way of playing, which even in their blockbusters borders more on the art of kabuki than on conventional interpretation. That’s why it’s easy Some jewels go unnoticed in its vast catalog, and some attain only a very small cult.

Among them is a rather underrated work, both because it was not received with great acclaim and because of its character as a hidden marvel, rarely cited when it comes to highlighting its most unique contributions. But It’s one of his best films, with Cage himself giving a fabulous and not-too-alien performance (something that might disappoint fans of Wild Cage). The movie is ‘Red Rock West’.

Crime in the lost city of oil

Long banned from streaming and reduced to physical editions of dubious legality, this John Dahl-directed gem is now on SkyShowtime, stepping in to save classic cinema. Lara Flynn Boyle, Dennis Hopper and the phenomenal JT Walsh Complete the distribution of a volume full of exquisite references (some Lynchianas).

In it, Cage is a man wandering around in search of a better future with some stability and a job. Upon arriving in the town of Red Rock, he succeeds, albeit due to a misunderstanding. A man believes he is the hitman he hired to kill his wife, and the visitor accepts the money just to contact that woman and enter a bigger conspiracy. As if that wasn’t enough, the real hitman arrives in the oil town of Texas.

The film shows an intense cinephilia from Dahl, who never had commercial luck, made many cult films like this or “all-rounders, and devoted most of his career to directing television. “Red Rock West” beams in a great genre mix from neo-noir to western, through black comedy or 90’s thriller, coupled with other unclassifiable and delicious tracks like “Easy Blood” or “Wild Heart”, this one also with Cage.

“Red Rock West”: fascinating, elegant, funny

Red Rock West Nicolas Cage

But it never really had much of a chance of making it big, as theatrical releases were quite limited. Anyone who sees her is fascinated by her. There is intrigue, there is elegance, and there is a lot of humor, both because of the way the situation develops and because of Cage’s physicality, which is in perfect harmony with the tone and the different influences that the film exudes, albeit with a containment that is truly refreshing.

It was an unfortunate fate that befell the film, as it truly offers an immersive experience that does not serve badly as adult entertainment. And how excellent an exercise in another authorial thriller! Red Rock West remains a little lost in Nicolas Cage’s mind-blowing ’90s but deserves to shine in its own light and be inducted into its hall of fame.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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