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5 November 1998 Edition

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Cinema: Snake Eyes

Murder in the casino

Snake Eyes is the sort of slickly executed and visually exciting suspense thriller to be expected from an alliance of top director Brian De Palma and big money star Nicolas Cage.

Cage plays slightly corrupt Atlantic City detective Rick Santoro, an outgoing character with an expensive mistress and gambling habit to fund who is not averse to accepting a helping bribe. The movie is set in a casino on the night of a major televised boxing match, to which Santoro has been invited by his old friend, Navy Commander Kevin Dunne, played by Gary Sinise, now in charge of the personal security of the US Defence Secretary.

When the politician gets shot just after the champion hits the canvas, all hell breaks loose in the packed arena. As the senior police officer on the scene, Santoro takes temporary charge of the investigation, hoping to save the career of his friend, who was drawn away from his post just before the shooting.

Twists and turns ensue, as Cage unearths more and more of the truth while chasing suspect Julia Costello, played by Carla Gugino, around the arena, the casino, and the hotel. The main downside of this movie is that the ending is rushed and pretty incredible, but the epilogue is entertaining enough to compensate.


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