Raising Arizona

Dir: Joel Coen
Star: Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Randall 'Tex' Cobb

The Coens' movies seem to occupy a parallel universe, populated by characters who'd last five minutes in our harsh world. Although undoubtedly moral - villains get what they deserve as flawed heroes save the day - piety is rarely obvious behind their amazingly sharply-drawn characters and a great sense of invention. Reformed criminal Cage kidnaps a toddler for himself and barren wife Hunter (quite fabulous), only to find Goodman and, scarier still, biker of the apocalypse Cobb, keen to get involved. The Coen brothers' links to Sam Raimi lead to dazzlingly-flash camera moves, and if Cage's hair is livelier than his performance, the rest of the cast take up the slack with ease. [Trivia buffs should also note the name of the company Cage works for: Hudsucker Industries] The Coens can sometimes topple over into irritating nonsense, yet it's a worthwhile risk when the payoffs are as grand as here. It may be less deep than some of their output, but who'd imagine a picture about...well, parenthood could be such fun?


Cage-d Heat
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