The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

TIME TO KILL (1989) ***

Nicolas Cage stars as an Italian soldier fighting in Africa. One day, he gets a toothache and leaves his post looking for a dentist. He gets lost and winds up making love to one of the native girls. They play house in a cave for a few days until Cage accidentally kills her. Cage then returns to his post and tells his story to a fellow officer; who pretty much doesn’t care. When Cage learns the girl may have been a leper, he goes a little nuts and does whatever it takes to leave the country and avoid detection.

Time to Kill is a somber and unlikely melodrama, but it’s always interesting and the oddball premise keeps the viewer hooked. I mean there aren’t many movies around that feature Nicolas Cage slowly being driven crazy due to the fact that he quite possibly could have leprosy. So if you’re a Cage fan, you’ll definitely want to check it out solely on that promise.

And if you’re like me and enjoy Cage doing bizarre things, Time to Kill has you covered. The film starts off with him getting a toothache and taking a mess of painkillers, so you know you’re going to be in for a treat. Once he starts giving cigarettes to iguanas, I had to admit I was having fun.

Eventually, the picture becomes fairly straightforward in its second act. But once the does-he-or-doesn’t-he have leprosy subplot kicks in, it starts firing on all cylinders again. Plus, it’s an Italian flick from the late ‘80s, which gives a weird look and feel to the overall production. Put it all together and you have the recipe for a respectable (if a tad uneven) entry in Cage’s filmography.

AKA: The Short Cut.

Tags: drama, t

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