Mandy is the most unique and craziest film you’ll see this year with a style all its own and Cage at his gonzo best. The pacing lags in the first half and it’s pretty messed up but it’s worth a watch to see what all the fuss is about.
Plot: Taking place in 1983, Red is a lumberjack who lives in a secluded cabin in the woods. His artist girlfriend Mandy spends her days reading fantasy paperbacks. Then one day, she catches the eye of a crazed cult leader, who conjures a group of motorcycle-riding demons to kidnap her. Red, armed with a crossbow and custom Axe, stops at nothing to get her back, leaving a bloody, brutal pile of bodies in his wake.
Review: You ever watched a movie and by the end of it you sit there silently thinking “what the Hell did I just watch?” That was my reaction to Mandy starring Nicolas Cage the other day. How do you even review a film like this? I couldn’t even decide what star rating to give it but I’ll try and do a review and we’ll see how it goes.
If ever there was a movie Nicolas Cage was born to star in it was Mandy; he gets to go full on crazy which is what we’ve come to expect from the OTT actor. I do love watching him in movies though; he never phones in a performance and gives it everything even when the material isn’t the greatest.
Mandy is incredibly slow in the first half but I imagine if you were on various hallucinogens you’ll love every second. It’s so trippy, beautifully shot and incredibly stylish; easily becoming the reddest film you’ll see this year. At times it’s difficult to see what’s going on as it’s so darkly lit but I think we can be quite thankful as it’s usually disguising something rather depraved going on. This is definitely the most fucked up movie of 2018 which manages to disturb and make you laugh in equal measure.
So the first half has Cage’s character (called Red interestingly enough) madly in love with his girl Mandy and they live an ideal life in what must be some kind of alternate dimension as it certainly doesn’t look like Earth. One night Mandy goes out for a walk and catches the eye of local loon Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache) who leads a bizarre cult of some kind. I gotta tip my hat to Roache who gives the best performance of his career as he is totally unhinged and just plain unsettling to watch.
After Mandy laughs at Jeremiah he has her killed while Red sits by helpless. He vows revenge and then the action finally kicks in and we get to see some real Cage Rage. We have brutal killings, chainsaw fights, demons and more as Red descends into a Hellish nightmare taking out each of the cult members (and demons) in a violent manner. It’s really only the last 45 minutes (in a 2 hour runtime) where there is any action so I don’t know if I could even class this as an action movie. There’s some action, a lot of horror and even more drugs.
Cage has a few choice lines like “that was my favourite shirt!” and gets to have his usual freak-out moments which just work perfectly in a movie this bonkers.
It should be noted that the legendary Bill Duke has a cameo in the film in one of the best scenes; I wish he had a bigger role but the fact he was in it at all makes the movie worth a watch.
The late Jóhann Jóhannsson provides the music score and it’s perfectly moody giving the movie a sinister edge and atmosphere.
Overall, Mandy will absolutely be an acquired taste and I don’t even know if I liked it or not but I give it 4 stars just for doing something unique and interesting. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen and is at least worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little different.