Mandy

The basic plot of Mandy is nothing you haven’t seen before: Contented middle-aged man (Nicholas Cage) witnesses a hideous act of violence against his beloved; very discontented man employs an overabundance of esoteric weapons to wreak awful revenge. The bad dudes (and ladies) in this film are way more entertaining than usual: a drugged-out, dysfunctional hippie cult headed by a failed psych-rock star (Linus Roache, doing his best to out-ham Cage) and the Cenobite-like bikers he summons from darkness. But what really distinguishes Mandy is its art-film slowness as it gently builds a world around Andrea Riseborough and Cage. The art direction is joyously unfettered by subtlety--the whole movie mimics a series of vintage metal album covers, and heavy filters, slo-mo, motion blur, trippy superimpositions, and animated sequences abound. Mandy herself is half oneiric goddess, half vulnerable loner, and Riseborough, who’s shown exceptional versatility in Death of Stalin, Nancy, and Waco, possesses a fascinating spookiness that makes you forget she’s a cliche. But don’t worry, lovers of Cage: Once the vengeance plot revs up, you get all the eye-bugging lunacy you’ve come for. There’s a chainsaw duel, a creature with a knife-penis, some spectacular beheadings and cranium-splittings, and a bouquet of nonsensical one-liners. by Joule Zelman
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Credits
Director
Panos Cosmatos
Cast
Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache