I’m always up for a new Nicolas Cage movie, and I still watch his straight to video movies. At least, when I find out about them. He’s had a few slip by me, but when Between Worlds fell into my lap, I happily took a look at what Cage was up to this time. Unfortunately, this movie is quite bad even by straight to video standards. Granted, straight to video standards have gone way up, but except for Cage everything about Between Worlds is amateurish.
Joe (Cage) is a truck driver popping No Doze. He saves Julie (Franka Potente) from being strangled in a truck stop bathroom. Turns out she’s trying to commune with her daughter Billie (Penelope Mitchell) in a coma. Julie’s had the power to do that through near death experiences all her life. So Joe helps her wake Billie up the hard way and then stays with the gals in a love triangle.
I can appreciate what appealed to Cage about Between Worlds. There are plenty of opportunities for him to go crazy, and he’s into the supernatural premise. He gets the giggles from smoking pot, posing under a hose while washing Billie’s motorcycle, and a lot of hard fucking sex faces.
The film presents him poorly. The style is aping the Mr. Robot look of too much headroom, but it doesn’t look controlled or deliberate. It just looks sloppy. Joe is falling asleep the first half of movie, even after he’s stayed with Julie for three days. That’s some good Cagey acting, and when he wakes up, man oh man. But I’m making this sound too bonkers and it’s really not. It’s a generic afterlife movie that creates a love triangle between Joe, Julie and Billie.
The dialogue is terrible but Cage keeps going for it. Julie drops a wrench on him and he says, “Are you mad at me or just clumsy?” By the end there’s a lot of “drop the gun or I’ll shoot” bullshit from other characters. Julie’s concerned mother in the hospital scenes sound so fake I’m surprised Potente didn’t just improv something that sounded more realistic. She tells Billie’s friends who were riding motorcycles with her when she crashed to “get out of my face.”
Listen, Cage makes four of these a year and usually two of them are good. So Between Worlds isn’t one of the good ones. The other two are no big deal. You didn’t have to leave the house for ‘em, but I already watched this one so I wrote a review. If you’re a completist like me, you’ll see it anyway, and if you’re a tad more selective with your Cage, just wait for the next one.