Its always refreshing to see an iconic actor, who has aged, back in their heyday! If you’re looking for this kind of fix with Nicholas Cage, then 8MM isn’t the right film for that. I suggest Raising Arizona. 8MM tries to be another Se7en, from same writer Andrew Kevin Walker, but falls flat. With a Metascore of only 19, I wanted to like it, but sometimes Metascores are accurate, not always though, these things are always relative, you know what I’m talking about, my fellow Film Munchers!
Perhaps the reason why this films fails is because at its origin point, that is, the script prepared by Walker, it had a specific direction, but when the the studio requested the subject matter to be ‘toned down’, and director Joel Schumacher supported this view, Walker walked, disowning the film and even refused to watch the final product. As a result we have 8MM, which only stands as tall, and makes for a flimsy film that seems super long.
Nicholas Cage isn’t his best here, he reminds me of some of the films he makes these days, the amount of B-Grade films that he is in these days seems to be growing by the day, which is a shame, because we all know he’s got talent! He’s won an Oscar in 1995, and has been nominated for another since, but what happened? Anyway, Nicholas Cage is awesome and iconic…
The film held my interest till about half way, after the mystery unfolds and it’s no longer a mystery, the film fails to produce anything further intrigue, and fills itself with messy, but comical, action sequences. It tries to explore the emotional consequences this taboo subject has on our beloved Cage, but it feels shallow and not impactful enough. Truthfully you don’t feel very much, once the film is over, unlike Se7en, it doesn’t make you think, long after the credits roll. David Fincher was first choice to direct this film, I totally believe it would have been a very different film, had Walker and Fincher teamed up again.
Joaquin Phoenix excels, as usual, and James Gandolfini (R.I.P) does what he can with the half baked script. Catherine Keener is more like an extra in this film, which is a shame. A lot of the relationship development between Cage and Keener happens on the telephone, with about 75% of the time, them not actually talking to each other, messages are left instead. When you see this repeated numerous times in the film, its hilariously exhausting.
TRIVIA COOKIE: The original title for this film was “Sexy World”. Gosh, that would have been an even more epic failure!