It takes a lot for Nicolas Cage to call something “the wildest movie I’ve ever made.” Based on some of his acting choices throughout the last 20 years, which has produced an ungodly amount of trash to pay off all those pyramids, dinosaur skulls, and a bunch of snakes, he might not even be the best judge of that. Still, he doesn’t hype other movies that certainly could qualify as the “wildest,” so maybe there’s actually something to his new film Prisoners Of The Ghostland.
Coming from Suicide Club director Sion Soto in his first English-language film, this western-samurai flick sees Cage going full Suicide Squad, wearing an explosive leather suit that’s set to combust if Cage can’t rescue a warlord’s daughter. The plot certainly sounds in line with Cage’s recent offerings:
In the treacherous frontier city of Samurai Town, a ruthless bank robber (Nicolas Cage) is sprung from jail by wealthy warlord The Governor (Bill Moseley), whose adopted granddaughter Bernice (Sofia Boutella) has gone missing. The Governor offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for retrieving the runaway. Strapped into a leather suit that will self-destruct within five days, the bandit sets off on a journey to find the young woman—and his own path to redemption.
Cage has been living pretty high off the hog following the release of the critically-adored, surprisingly restrained Pig. But Prisoners Of The Ghostland seemingly hopes to place itself in the campe of some of Cage’s more extreme efforts of late, boasting that the movie comes from the same studio as other recent Cage success stories Color Out Of Space and Mandy.
Our own A.A. Dowd was less enthused with the results, though. In his Sundance review, he wrote:
The film turns out to be more entertaining to describe than it is to actually watch. Sono’s interest in the genre-pastiche material is almost entirely cosmetic; the story, the characters, even the action couldn’t be much more perfunctory. There is one solid, Tarantino-grade set piece that sets swordplay to “Time In A Bottle.” But even as someone who finds Sono’s brand of outré extremity more exhausting than invigorating (Love Exposure almost broke me), I couldn’t help but wish the movie would actually plunge over the deep end, instead of tamping down his ballyhooed transgressions in favor of a lot of empty East-meets-West cosplay.
Check out the trailer below.
Prisoners Of The Ghostland explodes into theaters and VOD on September 17.