Review of "Prisoners of the Ghost Country": Becoming Nuclear

Looking back, one should have known that a collaboration between Nicolas Cage and the dashing eccentric Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono was...


Looking back, one should have known that a collaboration between Nicolas Cage and the dashing eccentric Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono was only a matter of time. Yet now that “Prisoners of Phantom Country” is here, it seems equally obvious that doubling down on the weirdness can, for the audience, produce ten times the puzzle.

The partnership should have been sublime. And maybe if Sono had written the script himself (as he often does, perhaps the most touching in his 2011 treatise on upskirt photography, “Love Exposure”), this samurai western in the sun could have made sense. As it stands, the story of Aaron Hendry and Reza Sixo Safai is so demented that Cage sometimes seems unusually muffled. To play Hero, a outcast tasked by a white-robed warchief (Bill Moseley) to retrieve the warlord’s missing granddaughter (a convincing Sofia Boutella), Cage spends most of the film in a leather suit. studded with strategically placed explosives. If Hero harbored unclean thoughts about his prey, his gonads would be lost.

Filled with abusive extras and chanting geishas, ​​scratching mutants and traveling mannequins, the “Prisoners” can switch in an instant from haunting (a disfiguring mask that slowly peels off of a woman’s face) to one. circus. Sono’s visuals, brilliantly produced by cinematographer Sohei Tanikawa, lack neither brilliance nor imagination. But the ridiculousness of the plot cuts off any emotional connection with a story whose apocalyptic styles (the title’s Ghostland is a nuclear wasteland) make a gesture towards Japan and the painful history of America. In light of this, Hero’s eventual sacrifice of a single testicle seems an entirely negligible forfeit.

Prisoners of Ghost Country
Unclassified. Duration: 1 hour 43 minutes. In theaters and available for rental or purchase at google play, Seen and other streaming platforms and pay-TV operators.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Review of "Prisoners of the Ghost Country": Becoming Nuclear
Review of "Prisoners of the Ghost Country": Becoming Nuclear
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