Despite a script by Seven writer Andrew Kevin Walker, this shines only the faintest of lights on the darker side of the human psyche. Summoned by wealthy widow Mrs Christian and her lawyer (Heald), ambitious PI Tom Welles (Cage) is asked to establish whether the 8mm 'snuff movie' found in the dead husband's safe is real or fake. This starts like a hetero reprise of Cruising, with Welles neglecting wife and child to immerse himself in LA's porno underworld, guided by Max (Phoenix), an assistant in an adult bookshop. Once he homes in on the film-makers, however, the emphasis shifts from challenging ambivalence to the crudest knee-jerk vigilantism. And by the time we get to the climactic confrontation with masked sadist 'Machine', it's clear that, whereas Walker's collaboration with David Fincher on Seven was a successful meeting of minds, 8MM was born out of a serious clash of sensibilities. There's no faulting Cage's committed, intense performance, but his slide from professional, internalised concern into personal, self-righteous rage still leaves a nasty aftertaste.
Aspect Ratio 2.35 Wide Screen
Sound Source Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Special Features Directors Commentary / Deleted Scenes / Filmography / Trailer
Main Language English