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  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A retro-obsessed director and an '80s icon team up for a hallucinatory axe-wielding fantasy lovingly crafted for a niche audience.

What further bug-eyed craziness can Nicolas Cage, who has already given us so much bug-eyed craziness, provide? In the case of this psychedelic revenge fantasy, the answer is a single-take bathroom meltdown during which he appears to down a bottle of vodka while crying and emitting animal screams. In his underpants. When this is done, his grieving character forges a scimitar – yes – and goes on the hunt for a gang of Manson-like killers who have slayed the love of his life, the gentle Mandy (Andrea Riseborough).

It’s possibly peak Cage, though getting to this point in the movie requires stamina – and not just because it all unfolds well after the hour mark. Co-writer and director Panos Cosmatos is evidently working out some kind of fixation he has on a certain type of glossy ’80s VHS-era aesthetic. This affection for dreamy sci-fi nightscapes and ghostly King Crimson tunes makes ‘Mandy’ a geek’s paradise, far from your typical piece of star-slumming action.

But Cosmatos needs you to be charitable toward the performances. Or, barring that, he needs you to be stoned – and many will oblige. Graced by a thickly menacing synth score from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (‘Sicario’), whose recent death from a drug overdose represents the loss of a major talent, ‘Mandy’ is already guaranteed cult status.

Joshua Rothkopf
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf

Release Details

  • Rated:18
  • Release date:Friday 12 October 2018
  • Duration:120 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Panos Cosmatos
  • Screenwriter:Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn
  • Cast:
    • Nicolas Cage
    • Andrea Riseborough
    • Linus Roache
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