In anticipation of the Coen Bros’ Hail Caesar, I’ve been catching …
De Palma has relied on expressionist imagery and self-reflexivity for most of his career, so why is it a problem with Snake Eyes? Were critics expecting a different sort of experience because of the genre? Either way, the issue seems worth delving into, if only to unpack false notions of the film being a waste of time.
Unquestionably one of the principle elements that put fear into studio at the thought of financing Kick-Ass was the level of unfiltered violence featured throughout. Witnessing bullets ripping through flesh is nothing knew for anyone who has paid attention to recent action films, and experiencing the slicing and dicing of body limbs with a shiny sword should sound familiar to those who have seen the Kill Bill films, but it is the way the violence is handled at times in Kick-Ass that differentiates it from many other movies of the same ilk.
Serial killers have provided ripe material for film for several years, both directly and indirectly. Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal horror classic Psycho famously had a lead character modelled after Ed Gein, while David Fincher’s Zodiac notably took a different tack by focusing on an ultimately unsuccessful investigation.