DVD Review: Joe
Bloody hell, Nic Cage certainly knows how to place himself in every type of film imaginable, with the predictable varying results. He can go from cinematic genius to internet laughing stock in no time, but with his latest film to hit DVD in New Zealand, Cage certainly hits one out of the park, but not in the way you’d expect. At least not in the kind of film I was expecting.
Joe is a slow burn film, a story of redemption and coming of age. Cage plays the lead character, Joe, an ex-con who works the tree poisoning business, who just happens to take a boy under his proverbial wing. The boy, Gary (played by Tye Sheridan with equal power as the established Cage) begins the film sitting on the tracks trying to talk some life sense into his alcoholic father, who rather than listen, punches the kid out, and stumbles off into the woods. It’s a weird and unsettling start to a film that covers a range of emotional subjects, from poverty to child abuse, all filmed in a grim, bleak reality.
Joe’s biggest struggle is with himself, having a hair trigger temper, and his own battles with drink. But it’s what he see’s in Gary that sets the film on it’s slowly meandering course. Joe see’s a future for the boy, but it’s a future that has two options. One to be just like Joe, or the other to have the power to leave his situation and make a life for himself.
But Joe needs to get involved which is dangerous for a man with his demons lurking below the surface, and so the dance begins.
Joe as a film is not the most entertaining of watches. It’s not a film that will have you raving to your friends via twitter as soon as the credits roll. It’s not an easy film to watch, both in some of it’s subject matter and in it’s meandering course. It it is an effecting film, and that’s a rare gem to find. It gets in under your skin and you’ll be thinking about it for some time after turning off the TV.
It also give you hope that Nic Cage films might be worth looking out for again.
Rating: R16 Graphic violence, sex scenes and offensive language.
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