Nicolas Cage has had a string of “art for the sake of art” movies lately. Sadly, most of them just don’t work. This one came really close. I think what made it work less was the overview the studio sent out to draw in viewers.
Diagnosed with a fatal condition, Frankie Carver is released from prison after serving 19 years of hard time. With only a short time left to live, Frankie must desperately try to make amends with the son he left behind while he plots a bloody course of revenge – tracking down his old gang to make them pay one by one.movie overview from studio
If you don’t read that and simply watch the movie because it has Nicolas Cage in it, you will have a much more enjoyable experience. This is one of those movies where you cannot say anything about it in the review without either giving away too much or ruining it for those who choose to watch it later.
Watch it through to the end
The one thing I can tell you is to watch it through to the end. A Score to Settle kind of ambles/rambles around letting Nicolas Cage be Nicolas Cage for the bulk of the picture. It’s kind of like Leaving Las Vegas without being so dark. About the time you are getting to the “when will this movie get over?” stage, standing flat footed, is when the right hook comes. There was physically no way to see that coming. They do go back showing you the “hints” but no, they hid that well.
If you are a Nicolas Cage fan, this movie is a lot less “art for the sake of art” than some of his more recent stuff. It won’t be a waste of your time. It’s not The Sorcerer’s Apprentice or Windtalkers but it isn’t bad.
I’m north of 50. There is a lot of stuff in this movie that will appeal to AARP members. Lots of “late in life” topics. Seeing how people’s kids turned out. How the world has changed. They have a good vehicle for that given the amount of time Nicolas Cage’s character was in prison. A Twenty-Something is not really going to like this.