Nicholas Cage, in a credible movie, never!? Well actually I’m not so harsh on Cage usually, okay he has been in some terrible movies but what actor hasn’t? Cage is always entertaining and generally his movies are fun and quite memorable, but anyway here we see Cage give a figurative two fingers to all the haters who say he can’t act.
Joe had honestly slipped under my radar for a long time and was only drawn to my attention through a local cinema group. I watched the trailer and was immediately drawn in, it looked like such a dramatic film filled with emotion and powerful scenes, quite Hollywood esque though. What the film actually is was a stripped back version of this trailer, this isn’t the Hollywood film that the trailer conveyed it to be. The fault lies with the trailer and not the film though. Anyway as I have already touched on here, Cage showcases just how great an actor he can be. The role of Joe allows him to exercise a lot of his acting skills simultaneously and it was pretty great to watch, although Joe isn’t the stereotypical hero that are seen in most films he is still pretty awesome. He has flaws but he stands up when it matters and most importantly he makes the right choices.
As impressive as Cage was it was his teenage co-star who really shone for me, Tye Sheridan who played Gary. Gary was such a lovable character, simply through the situation that he was in. Sheridan was able to portray this well and his acting skills were completely convincing. Joe was not the stereotypical coming of age drama or anything so the bond between Joe and Gary wasn’t explored or made as obvious as other films but as it wasn’t that kind of film that was ok. The fact that the bond wasn’t staring you in the face was pretty cool and it was only in a few moments towards the end that we released just how much they meant to each other, in a way this made the emotion stronger.
Joe was brutal in parts and portrays a very grim lifestyle at times but there is no doubt that this film was well made. I enjoyed the complete shift of atmosphere in the final few scenes of the film, it felt like a relief for me as a viewer so I can only assume that this was to symbolise the liberation that Gary and his sister felt now that they were free from their father. Joe isn’t a Hollywood film and that is ok, not every film has to be. I enjoyed this movie and was captivated from the get go, it isn’t as drama filled as some may like it to be but I thought because of this it was more realistic.
BIGGEST FLAW – Trailer portrays a more Hollywood stye of film
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Both Cage and Sheridan’s perfromances
Rating – 8/10