Three ex-cons take a job to kidnap an infant from
a rival mobster, but everything goes wrong.
Dog Eat Dog (2016)
Directed by Paul Schrader
Written by Matthew Wilder
Starring Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Matthew Cook, Paul Schrader, Reynaldo Gallegos, Omar J. Dorsey
Based on the novel by Edward Bunker
Wow, this movie was a mess. Just a complete dumpster fire from beginning to end. No coherent plot, terribly written characters, and dialogue with all the subtlety of a screaming toddler. I get that this falls cleanly into the category of paycheck gig for Nic Cage, but it's a shame that Willem Dafoe had to be dragged down with him. Both of them are clearly phoning it in the entire time, fully aware that they are starring in a piece of shit. There are so many untied loose ends that you begin to wonder if you were even watching a movie or having some sort of lucid daydream.
Cage and Dafoe play Troy and Mad Dog, two criminals freshly out of prison who are looking for a big score along with their third compadre Diesel (Christopher Matthew Cook). When they're hired to kidnap the infant son of a mobster, they royally screw up the job and then...that's it. That plotline is completely abandoned with zero resolution, despite it being the main plot of the film. From there on, the three horribly unlikable leads are randomly killing each other or getting stopped by police for no reason beyond plot convenience. The film ends with a bizarre ethereal dream sequence (maybe) in which Troy talks like Humphrey Bogart and gets an elderly couple shot to death by police in his crossfire.
If there's one thing this movie's taught me, it's that writing a movie is extremely easy if you don't bother to take into account story, character development, or plot resolution. Putting words on a page is simple. I'm doing it right now. Writing a movie is easy. Telling a story takes skill and effort, both of which this movie's "story" lacks in buckets.