Hey, so just a question: does a short film following a pair of murderous thugs sicken you? Yeah? Well, then you’re obviously not up for “Maniac”, a short film in which murderous thugs kill people. I’m up for watching most anything and I do enjoy me some Cage, so watching him get his (fictional) murder on with Kid Cudi is a sight to behold; it’s right up the alley for the Grand Theft Auto generation. Oh, and Shia LaBeouf directed it? Fascinating. Review and the film itself embedded after the break!
I’m just gonna SPOILER TAG the review, HIGHLIGHT THE TEXT BELOW TO REVEAL.
Shia has wanted to do some film work with Chris Palko (Cage) for a while, so short of doing the biopic about him he’s always wanted to do, this is an interesting detour. This is a bit snazzier and less contrived production-wise than Shia’s video for “I Never Knew You” from 2009 and it’s great to see Shia earning his wings the good ol’ indie way. The wafer-thin plot that binds these murders is cleverly disguised as all the characters speak French (in thoroughly American accents, mind you) in which they agree to murder sixteen people through the night, eventually ending up knocking off the camera crew in the last shot. Garroting a woman in the park, tossing a Molotov into a car where a couple are making out, marching into an apartment with shotgun blasting, these are all senseless acts of violence and one can’t help but keep watching. Where the film loses points in how contrived the setup is (does Kid Cudi really need coverage as he’s about to toss the aforementioned Molotov? No.), it makes up with style. CGI blood splatters on the camera are pretty silly and there’s not a whole lot of emotional drama in the murders, making them emptier acts than they already are, but let’s be fair, you’ve spent ten minutes in far worse ways. Just watch the thing.
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