Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes is a tale of intrigue, deception
and many plots with plots

Brian DePalma does it again. Snake Eyes is a tale of intrigue, deception and many plots with plots. It opens with a 15 minute lone mise-en-scene. This is a technique where a single camera holds a shot while the action moves within it.

The opening consists of a single camera moving through the action until the point of the assassination which is the focal point of the film. DePalma does not stop there in his use of camera tricks. He uses a casino's spycam network to follow the action as it unfolds in several locations at once. He provides an overhead view meandering from room to room in the hotel and his quick cuts keep the action moving. He also employs many flashbacks on important events as the story unfolds. Each flashback provides the viewer with a different perspective and reveals another piece of the puzzle. And what a puzzle it is. Each piece is carefully constructed to provide a tease for the next piece.

The acting in Snake Eyes is top notch. Nicolas Cage as the shady cop and Gary Sinise as the naval man charged with protecting the victim of this conspiracy. While each character seems to be playing a well known type, bad cop, good soldier, things are not what they seem. Twists and turns in the plot are reflected in the characters. No one is as they seem just as they facts are constantly pointing to blind turns. Cage is great in his usual over the top performance. Sinise is more subtle and underplays his role to perfection.

This Snake Eyes DVD does lack features. A commentary by DePalma as the director and writer would have been great. His technical use of the camera would have made for great explanations. The sound is a bit muddled at times but only adds to the feel of Snake Eyes.

The video quality is excellent. Snake Eyes is the best DePalma has had to offer since the Untouchables. He has stopped ripping of Hitchcock and has begun to realize he has a technique and talent all his own.

Review by Doug MacLean of

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