Review - 'Mom and Dad'
If you were to tell me that Nicolas Cage could surprise me these days in a way that would impress me, I’m not sure I’d believe you and I’ve been a proponent of his for years. Face/Off is gold, Con-Air is a guilty pleasure, and The Rock is a national treasure (See what I did there?). Cage has delivered some brilliant performances with the likes of Adaptation and Raising Arizona, but in recent years, specifically ten years, he’s turned in half-ass performances on an assembly line of generic action movies. It took director Brian Taylor, known for co-directing the Crank films, to reignite that passion and unleash the Cage on moviegoers once again in one of the darkest comedies I think I’ve ever seen.
Mom and Dad stars Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage as parents Kendall and Brent Ryan at the end of their ropes when it comes to dealing with their thieving teenage daughter and younger son. However, there comes a day when something strange afflicts the parents of the town, causing them to inflict horrific violence upon their own children. Soon this affliction hits Kendall and Brent, and they make sure no one comes between them and their kids.
Mom and Dad is a frenetic trip, much to the liking of a Crank fan but more so than I was expecting. The trailers definitely sold this movie as a dark comedy so I didn’t think there would be anything more clever than that, but the editing and even the sound editing were making me question what the heck was going on, but in a great way. Since this is a film about parents killing their children, it actually holds back a tad and some of the more gruesome deaths are edited in such a way to leave it up to your imagination and some sequences are cut to include some strange segments of distorted noise like a Looney Tunes cartoon, driving home that dark comic tone the film is striving for. It nails that tone for the most part but there is an uncomfortably dark scene involving a mother and newborn child (Spoiler: the child lives), which felt out of place with the rest of the film where I was afraid how far the scene would go.
Nic Cage has never been more Nic Cage since Bad Lieutenant: New Orleans. Every time he’s on screen, he’s screaming or overacting his ass off and it’s a blast. His character longs for the glory days when life was nothing but sex and hot rods so of course, he blames his marriage and children for getting in the way of what his life could have been thus leading to some great banter once he goes after his kids. Selma Blair is no slouch either. Used to being the punching bag of her family for years, Blair’s portrayal of Kendall is as sympathetic as it gets and when you watch her descent, it’s an absolute blast and she’s even able to keep Cage on his toes.
I caught Mom and Dad on Hulu so it's very much worth a quick watch. It's also surprisingly short, right under the ninety minute mark. So I say grab some popcorn and once it's over, call your parents and tell them you love them. You never know when they might try to kill you.