Mandy (2018)

Somewhere between a hellish revenge tale and a pseudo-psychedelic thriller, “Mandy” is the latest trippy movie from Padros Cosmatos, who directed 2010’s “Beyond the Black Rainbow.” Mind you, I don’t really remember the latter, but I remember thinking it was visually striking but that its cinematic approach dulled any potential emotional impact. It’s more of the same here: The movie ostensibly splits at the halfway point, and while the second half revels in revenge-movie beats, the first half’s hazy presentation precludes any real emotional investment from the audience. Ultimately, this movie is mostly about Nicolas Cage’s performance: He’s present, engaged and wired as all hell by the second half, but there’s something strangely muted about his quest. It’s not that it’s not worth the shot, as the movie has enough memorable moments (in particular Mandy meeting Linus Roache’s Jeremiah and the ensuing conversation), but it’s not as moving or memorable as it could be. So, come for the atmospheric mood and stay for Cage’s performance.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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