Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Rating 15
Length 1h43
Release 17.9.2021
Director Sion Sono
About In the treacherous frontier city of Samurai Town, a ruthless bank robber gets sprung from jail by a wealthy warlord whose adopted granddaughter has gone missing. He offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for retrieving the runaway. Strapped into a leather suit that will self-destruct in five days, the bandit sets off on a journey to find the young woman — and his own path to redemption.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Online rental

The Good

  • Nic Cage is at his most bat-shit in this Escape from New York/ Mad Max mashup. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I’m watching a Nic Cage film I need to see him howling to the moon in a way only he can do.
  • It is a beautiful film. The aesthetics of East and West cultures colliding is nothing new, however the way in which they are consistently and visually at odds with each other somehow works.

The Bad

  • Sofia Boutella is wasted in the role. A third of the film she’s placed in unflattering geisha make-up and another third she’d left catatonic. You have this beautiful, well trained actress. Use that. Perhaps its due to last minute casting, but she is much better than the role she was given.

The Ugly

  • Its not quite coherent enough and is certainly more style over substance. Biggest problem for me is the number of flashbacks. It adds nothing to the story to have so many. Especially those scenes that revolve around the opening scene. Because the reveals in the flashbacks are so heavily implied anyway it just bloats the film.
  • It really does seem that the director is trying too hard to hide the inspirations behind the film. To the point that the story is lost completely. The characters are not ones you sympathise with, or get to know in any way beyond the superficial.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, if you press play and make it to the end; kudos.

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