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Kiss of Death


Roger Davidson

Kiss of Death
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This is a remake in name only to a 1947 crime classic. In the original, a tough hood, played by Richard Widmark, made a scene famous by pushing an old wheelchair bound woman down a flight of stairs. In the new version the hood is played with amazing cruelty by Nicholas Cage of "Honeymoon in Vegas". Here, Cage is pumped up and badder than a lot of screen villains. The guy he reminds me of most is Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet".

The reason is because of all that testosterone. He gets angry too fast and causes brutal things to happen. The story does not center all around him but around David Caruso (of "NYPD Blue" fame) as an ex-con who is asked by a D.A. to infiltrate Cage's brutal crime ring and get close to him to find out information.

Many had wondered if Caruso was going to be any good after he left NYPD Blue and headed for Hollywood. Wonder no more, because his acting is good as anybody else's in the movie and he works well with the other actors. The supporting work is excellent too including Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction as a cop, who at first isn't sympathetic to Caruso but becomes his friend and partially a protector to Caruso. Cage is also great in a stand out performance as Little Junior, a gangster with a bad attitude. You should definitely see this because it's better than the film classic of which it was based on.

My Rating = Four Stars

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