Nicolas Cage stars in a new independent film from director David Gordon Green called "Joe." NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Nicolas Cage takes a break from big budget action fare and returns to the world of independent film with his latest movie. It's called Joe.
Cage plays Joe, an ex-con who now runs a tree poisoning business down south. He's respected by his workers, frequents hookers and has a vicious killer bulldog, and he also has a capacity for violence, if provoked. It's obvious throughout that it's only a matter of time until Joe blows up, as people are constantly pushing his buttons.
Joe's softer side is brought to light when he meets a 15-year-old boy named Gary. Joe takes the boy under his wing, and as the story unfolds, we learn that Gary has an abusive, alcoholic father. He's played by the late Gary Poulter, a former homeless man with no prior acting experience who was discovered by director David Gordon Green. When the father starts hurting the boy, Joe decides to be his protector.
All the characters are stereotypes, painted as either purely good or evil. The father, in particular, is an extremely despicable character, and his actions are way over the top.
The dialogue is putrid and, at times, unintentionally laughable, as Cage frequently chews the scenery.
Tye Sheridan, from the movie "Mud," gives it his best shot, but he has to pick a better movie next time around.
The film is boring, uninvolving and often disgusting. There's a scene where we hear two dogs fighting each other to the death. Then, there's a graphic, bloody sequence, which seems to go on forever, where Cage skins a deer.
Director Green has made a dark, dismal, predictable film with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: 1/2 apple