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Criticism | Prisoners of Ghostland: Nicolas Cage, star of the crazy and funny thriller

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Watched movie during Sundance Film Festival 2021

Known for good and evil, Nicolas Cage has established himself as an interpreter who divides opinions. His talent (or lack thereof) has earned him an Oscar, a collection of action films, a classic romance (City of Angels) and today, at the height of his 57 years, he seems more than ever to have found himself in a new niche. . Moving on to an even more cartoonish version of himself, Cage finds in Prisoners of The Ghostland weird and bizarre a subgenre that honors his over-the-top performances and wows audiences with such picturesque cinema it’s hard to take their eyes off of. .

Nick Cassavetes and Nic Cage appear in Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland, an official selection from the Premieres section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
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Sion Sono is a filmmaker and poet of absolutely authoritative quality and makes his films his grandiose little experiences, where he tests his narrative limits and crosses the borders between the most diverse genres without shyness and without respect for standards. And in Prisoners of The Ghostland, that’s exactly what he does. Mixing mystery, thriller, action and drama, in the midst of an aesthetic full of samurai, the long plays with our perception of normality, makes us question the common and quickly leads us to buy the idea of ​​a more heroic Nicolas Cage than we’ve ever seen before.

Giving life to a man with a dark past and a heavy, sad face, Cage is a skillful criminal on a sort of redemption journey. Responsible for breaking an evil curse, he will have to save a young girl (Sofia Boutella) in time to be able to save his own life, which is at stake. Your mission will intersect with the lives of the renegades of Ghostland, a lifeless land – to Mad Max 3: Beyond the Thunder Dome and Mad Max: Fury Road – which awaits the day of its full release.

And Prisoners of The Ghostland is a deeply unusual cinematic experience. Under a production design that blends ancient Japan, with overly colorful and extravagant aspects that vaguely remind us of Harajuku, the production is unique in all of its aesthetic construction and has a storyline that challenges audiences to suspend its standard reality. Delivering an irreverent and irrevocable mood, amid an exaggerated seriousness among the characters themselves, Prisoners of The Ghostland is a caricature, makes us laugh, and shows that since the debut of the famous Mandy, Nicolas Cage more than never seems to consolidate its own sub-genre of cult films.

With Sofia Boutella in the cast, shining in a strange relationship dynamic with Cage, the comic thriller / mystery is full of references to oriental cinema and doesn’t have to take itself so seriously. With Sono providing his authorial direction, the feature is bold in every way and perfect for the Sundance Film Festival. Fun and quaint, Prisoner of The Ghostland still manages to be an enjoyable adrenaline rush and makes its narrative snaps an extra element in its weirdness, ensuring a necessary sour humor, amidst a plot full of elements that don’t. make sense that even in this incredible and wonderful union between Sion Sono and Nicolas Cage.

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