‘Sympathy for the Devil’ Review: A Serviceable Thriller Elevated by a Stellar Nic Cage Performance

Sympathy for the Devil Review

A vital pillar in any cinematic production, quality acting is as important as good directing or captivating writing. While a memorable performance will seldom make a bad movie enjoyable, it can certainly turn an average picture into one worth watching. Directed by Yuval Adler, Sympathy for the Devil is a serviceable thriller elevated by a stellar Nic Cage performance.

After being held at gunpoint by a mysterious stranger, a man finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Our leading performers are Nicolas Cage and Joel Kinnaman.

If you are searching for a film where Nic Cage commits to a crazy performance and steals every scene he is in, then Sympathy for the Devil is well worth a watch. Kinnaman is admirable too and plays the perfect straight man that this story requires. This is a film that has been created with a clear vision and every element from the music to the cinematography feeds into the overall style. Unfortunately, the script lacks depth and doesn’t have the impact that the filmmakers have clearly desired.

For the majority of the first two acts, the narrative of this film lacks purpose. During this time, the story feels thin and we are forced to engage only with the acting of our lead performers. Cage and Kinnaman do a fine job in this regard but viewers will often wonder when the film we kick into top gear. Thankfully, the story does begin to unravel once we edge closer to the finale but in some ways, it feels too little too late. At this point, we are subjected to lacklustre plot reveals that don’t carry the weight that this terrifying scenario deserves. This is not to say the film’s climax isn’t entertaining, one particular sequence inside a diner is incredibly tense and utterly enthralling. Alas, one still wonders how much better this film could have been if we cared a little more about the characters.

Sympathy for the Devil is recommended first and foremost to fans of Nicolas Cage. While there are a number of quality elements beyond his performance, he is without a doubt the highlight of this picture. At the end of the day, you won’t miss out on too much if you skip this film, although you will certainly have a good time if you decide to put it on.