Watch Now: SNAKE EYES
After having made the international blockbuster Mission Impossible in 1996, revered filmmaker Brian De Palma directed, produced and co-wrote the story for Snake Eyes, an exhilarating thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Gary Sinise that hit theaters in 1998. With a screenplay penned by David Koepp, De Palma’s film follows corrupt police officer Rick Santoro who unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of a murder conspiracy as he attends a boxing match taking place in the Atlantic City sports arena.
Snake Eyes’ 13-minute-long opening sequence is a captivatingly choreographed piece of moviemaking, courtesy of cinematographer Stephen H. Burum who uses a Steadicam to follow Santoro as he makes his way through the soon-to-be crime scene—the arena. Later on, De Palma utilizes flashbacks reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) as a means of presenting us with multiple character perspectives pertaining to the tragic event that transpired. Needless to say, Bill Pankow delivers a masterclass in editing. Despite Cage’s electric performance, Koepp and De Palma’s compelling storytelling, the movie’s appealing visual identity and its political undertones, Snake Eyes received mixed reviews upon its original release. Even so, it deserves to be revisited and seen for the exciting and unique cinematic experience that it is and always has been.