When you’re playing dice and you roll 1-1, that’s snake eyes, and you lose. That’s the name of this movie, Snake Eyes. This came out in 1998 from Paramount Pictures, past when I stopped going to movies, so I didn’t see it until today (31 August 2016) when I decided to watch it on Hulu. Details are from Wikipedia.
Nicolas Cage is police detective Richard “Rick” Santoro, working security at a championship boxing match at a major casino in Atlantic City. He teams up with a buddy of his, Navy Commander Kevin Dunne (Gary Sinise), who is there as the security detail for Secretary of Defense Charles Kirkland (Joel Fabiani). They have ringside seats.
Rick is a crooked cop, taking payoffs from various miscreants. He also cheats on his wife, who phones him constantly as tension builds toward the start of the fight. Another distraction is a red head in a low cut dress, who distracts Commander Dunne. When Dunne goes over to check her out, she absconds, and he gives chase. That’s when the shit hits the fan.
A strange woman in a blond wig takes over Dunne’s seat as the fight starts. Then in the first round the champ, Lincoln Tyler (Stan Shaw) takes a dive, actually throwing the fight in front of God and everybody. Bullets fly, and the Secretary takes one in the throat. The strange girl gets clipped by another.
Dunne is by now in the right place at the right time, and he dispatches the sniper. But Dunne is in on the plot. In fact, he is in charge of it. He meets with two other participants, including the red head, and kills them both.
That leaves the strange woman, by now shed of her blond wig and her slinky dress. She needs to be eliminated, as well. Specifically, she’s the reason behind the hit. She is Julia Costello (Carla Gugino), and she has evidence that weapons system tests have been faked. She came to the fight just to deliver the evidence to the Secretary.
As Dunne searches for her, Santoro finds her first, and she unloads the shocking details on him. He makes plans to protect her.
Dunne has Santoro beat up the the boxer, who is in on the scheme, and then tracks him has he goes to where the girl has been stashed. As Dunne menaces Santoro with a silenced pistol, Julia attempts to crack open the door to the outside.
Wouldn’t you know it. Just then a police cruiser is undone by a raging storm outside, and it crashes through the door and into the hiding place.
Headlights fall full on the scheming commander, and he takes the easy way out with his pistol.
Santoro becomes a momentary hero, but that quickly fades as his past misdeeds come to light. His wife has left him, so he tells the girl he will be able to accommodate her in maybe 18 months.
Yeah, the plot is grade-A screwball. Where to start?
They want to kill the Secretary before he finds out about the faked tests, and the best scheme they can come up with is to fake a knockout at a prize fight so they can shoot him in an arena packed with over 2000 people.
Then the assassin needs to be killed. Then the red head and the guy who gave the signal for the fighter to fake the knockout.
They assign a Navy commander to guard the Secretary of Defense? Isn’t the Secret Service supposed to take care of security for government officials?
Then the girl needs to be eliminated. All of this inside a locked down casino and hotel.
Santoro and the girl are doomed, as Commander Dunne has the only weapon, and he has them both cornered inside the storage room. Just at the right time a police cruiser happens by, (storm raging outside) crashes through the door, and the two cops confront the commander with drawn weapons.
There was a lot more beside the fight that was rigged.
I did pick up on the long tracking shots and split screen effects, trademarks of director Brian De Palma.
Nicholas Cage is always fun to watch. I have in the past called him the person who gave a face to the expression “hang dog.” He was a slippery casino magician in Next, and he got the girl in that one, as well. More grim is 8mm. I will see if I can find a copy.