Mom And Dad - Billiam's Movie Night

Sunday, 3 November 2019

 Nicolas Cage is a national treasure and I’ll fight anyone who doesn’t agree. I say this all the time on Future Flicks and that’s because it’s true. In episode 104 I talked about the movie Mandy, Cage’s latest jaunt onto the big screen and I pointed out that he’s always Nicolas Cage. The only question is, how Nicolas Cage is he? Is he just a little Nicolas Cage like in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin? Or is he full on Nicholas Cage like in The Wickerman? Well, for Mandy it looks like he goes full Cage. But how about this film? Did Selma Blair go full on Blair? Did Mom and Dad make the cut? Here’s my review.
I’m going to be a jerk here. I talked up Nicolas Cage a lot but the truth is that was just a rouse to get you to read more. I’m an evil mastermind, I know. The fact is that while Nicolas Cage was in this, it was Selma Blair that took center stage. But before we get into that, how about I tell you what this film is about?
This film stars Nicolas Cage (National Treasure), Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions), Anne Winters (Tyrant), Zackary Arthur (The 5th Wave), Olivia Crocicchia (Rescue Me), and Lance Henriksen (Aliens). It’s about two idiot kids who must survive the day after something causes all the parents to go crazy and kill their own kids. This film was sold as a dark comedy horror but it feels more like a poorly planned out mess. It’s time to break it all down.
Let’s start with the acting. Selma Blair was the only one who had a character that was even semi-fleshed out. Nicolas Cage came a close second with two or three scenes that showed why he acted the way he did (pre-going crazy), and believe it or not, the daughter’s boyfriend had more character than any of the kids. In movies like this you’re supposed to root for the kids. You’re supposed to root for the ones whose lives are in jeopardy. But this time around I couldn’t help but root for the parents. I wanted to see the kids get carved like a Thanksgiving turkey. Sound mean? Just watch the film and you’ll agree.
The daughter is just a stuck up brat with no redeeming qualities and no back story to make her sympathetic at all. The son, I’m pretty sure, was supposed to be autistic or somehow mentally challenged. Why does this matter? Because it may have made him sympathetic. “Poor kid, he can’t help but act like an asinine imbecile.” But no. We’re given no reason as to why a kid who’s clearly over six years old doesn’t go to school or why he does really weird things. They wouldn’t even have had to give the kids condition a name. Just put in one line of dialogue about the brother being “special” and boom! There’s suddenly a reason. It may not make me like him, but at least I’d understand.
So the kids suck in this film, I think I covered that pretty well. The story focused a lot on Blair’s character Kendall which was a weird choice, especially when we’re supposed to be rooting for the kids. Kendall is a well thought out character who I sided with instantly. After a couple scenes of seeing what her relationship with Brent (Cage) was like, I started to like the both of them. As for the kids? Not a single f*ck was given.
The pacing of the movie was odd as well. Started out slow as we were introduced to everyone and we see the killings start one by one and watch as no one notices until it breaks into a huge wave of murder hungry parents. Then the movie gets going as the kids try and stay alive and you, the viewer, can’t help but hope they won’t.  There are a few odd lulls in the action throughout the film that does nothing to keep the sense of urgency elevated. In fact, the movie takes time out of its limited schedule to make the parents even more sympathetic and gives the kids time to be idiots. What was that? You have time to get away? Better instead waste that time to make sure your ravenous parents are okay. Idiots.
The worst part about this movie is the fact that the ending comes out of nowhere and it left me feeling unfulfilled. I won’t spoil it. But what I will say is that there’s no actual ending. I can’t tell if writer/director Brian Taylor (Crank, Gamer) was trying for something more indie like, but it didn’t work. I spent almost an hour and a half watching this half-assed poorly thought out movie and got nothing out of it. There were a couple nice kill scenes and a nice reminder of why Selma Blair deserves bigger roles, but that’s it. This movie was a mess that didn’t even come close to being a fully thought out and enjoyable movie. It missed the mark and only a complete rewrite and reshoot could save it.

Mom and Dad gets a 3 out of 11

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