Director Panos Costamos‘ 2018 Nicolas Cage starrer, Mandy is a cosmic piece of cinema which plays like a half-remembered dream which was fuelled by a night of excessive experimental drug taking (I would imagine).
Once Nic is uncaged he goes full-tilt boogie, offering-up his own brand of German Expressionistic/Western kabuki (Cage’s words, not mine). Some might say it’s an over-the-top performance (and it might be) but it’s not a bad one. This is something which few actors could ever deliver and it takes a certain amount of courage to do what Cage does. How else would have the cajones to put themselves out there like this.
The whole thing plays like a live action version of a 1980s metal album cover, something featuring rich blood-reds and monstrous beasts on motorbikes. It’s neo-modern medieval fantasy and Cage is like a demented knight on a quest for justice, armed with his home-forged axe and crossbow. There’s no room for guns here – but there is space for a chainsaw duel.
Trippy visuals, with a score from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson to match, at times Mandy feels like an 1980s fantasy film told through the prism of a Taken-style revenge thriller (or vice versa). It‘s not wholly successful in being a good film, but it’s certainly unique. You’ll not see anything quite like Mandy.
On a limited theatrical release, Mandy grossed $1.23 million at the US box office and $1.55 million globally.