Monday, 14 November 2011

Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes is a 1998 released film featuring Nicholas Cage in a bravura performance as a dodgy detective who knows everybody who is anybody in contemporary Atlantic City which he regards as his manor. He attends a major Boxing event intended to help rebuild the image of the City at which also present is the United Sates Defence Secretary on his was back from attending a demonstration of a new missile Defence system which the Department is considering buying from a private company. Cage is accompanied by going back best friend who is the chief of staff and security officer for the Secretary.

Cage has gambled out of his depths on the Champ beating his opponent and is shocked when the champion appears to take a dive although this is only apparent later from video tapes. Before this his attention is directed at a sexually attractive red headed young woman who takes a ringside seat. Another young woman takes the vacated seat of the chief of staff who has moved to talk to the young woman and who had then moved away up a stairway as he approached. This young woman is shot wounded as the Secretary of State is also shot and killed.

The chief of staff shoots the assassin who is located at the top of the steps where he was following the red headed woman as she left. The State police attempt to take charge but Cage exerts his authority until Federal Government agents arrive. There is lock down at the stadium while the identities of everyone are checked out and to establish witnesses to the event. Cage watches available video and works out the champ has dived and confronts him, gaining the admission that he was blackmailed because of gambling debts to take the dive at a signal from a man in the crowd.

He also works out that the young woman who sat in front of the Defence Secretary is connected although the initial reaction from the information about the killed assassin is that he was a Palestine Terrorist. The young woman behaves suspiciously in covering a wound to her arm and talking her way into the hotel room of a gambler at the adjacent Casino to the fight Hall with a view to hiding out.

Cage goes in pursuit using closed circuit TV to track her movements. By this time we also know that his friend is a villain and involved in the killing of the Defence Secretary and attempted killing of the young woman. He has a small team with him who included the red headed woman who was wearing a wig and is an official member of staff. He has killed he three members of his support team and is also in pursuit of the young woman.

What emerges is that the young woman is a research worker at the company and discovered that the evidence of the missile system working was fixed to give the impression that the targets at the demonstration were hit when they were not. The company wanted the contract to go through which they had bribed the Chief of staff and hoped they would be able to fix the faults before the required delivery dates.

The young woman had attempted to contact the Defence Secretary and arranged to meet him at the Boxing match to pass on the evidence of the conspiracy. The style of the film is that of the caper the Tourist although there are several more dramatic moments including when Cage has to wrestle with the accusation that his best friend is behind the killing. There are also moments of farce. Their respective lives are saved and the friend killed.

Cage is immediate recognised as a hero and his ambition to become the Mayor of Atlantic City becomes possible. However the press who have been investigating his activities produce evidence that leads to his arrest for corruption. His wife abandons him and he loses custody of their son. He is also abandoned by his mistress. On the day before he is due to commence a prison sentence he meets the young woman whose life he saved and who thanks him for his involvement as his actions prevented the fraud being perpetrated and which could have resulted in the loss of soldiers’ lives. Despite the difference in ages she says she will wait for him after they kiss.

Throughout the film there is a sexually attractive women involved in a way I cannot now remember. As the final credits roll we see a construction team placing a large column into a hole and the sight of large ruby which the woman had been seen wearing, What the implications of this is in terns of the Mafia tradition of burning in concrete as well as among the fishes is uncertain except for the reputation of Atlantic City being a Mafia style gangland run City from the days of Prohibition, Nucky Thompson and the Boardwalk Empire.

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