Dog Eat Dog
Release Date: November 4 (New York / Los Angeles); November 11 (VOD/wide)
Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook
It’s probably entirely impossible to put Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe together in a Paul Schrader movie and not come up with something bonkers. But even the pedigree won’t prepare you for the utter insanity of this adaptation of Eddie Bunker’s novel, which is part heist movie, part drug-fueled character sketch, and full-on exploitation movie madness. Schrader adopts an oversaturated, over-caffeinated, slam-bang style to tell this story of three con buddies hired for a risky baby-napping. Matthew Wilder’s script is entirely aware of its one-last-score clichés; he and Schrader are more interested in the focal trio’s interactions and intimacies, following them off on tangents that are both inexplicable and weirdly touching. It’s a messy movie, and plenty of it doesn’t work, but Schrader’s enthusiasm (especially after grim slogs like The Canyons) is infectious.