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brian de palma's snake eyes stars nicolas cage's evil twin , who confusingly uses the same stage name as his talented brother .
like a foreign tourist who screams his lines in english to ensure that he will be understood , cage yells with the ferocity of a man with a bad case of caffeine overload .
de palma , whose last great film , the untouchables , was crafted over a decade ago seems to have lost his magic .
in snake eyes , he manages to elicit some of the worst performances possible out of a skilled cast .
only gary sinise rises slightly above the hackneyed material .
the rest of the actors become caricatures in this by-the-numbers thriller .
ryuichi sakamoto's atmospheric and melodramatic music dominates almost every scene .
heavy on the long violin notes , its rhythm is punctuated by thunder .
( the script by de palma and lost world's david koepp sets the action during a hurricane in an attempt to pump up the adrenaline level and the noise .
only the latter is achieved . )
cage plays rick santoro , a corrupt atlantic city cop who shakes down criminals to get betting money .
the movie takes place over a single evening when a world championship fight is being held .
with a flashy , bad wardrobe and a gold cell phone , rick is an obnoxious cop who doesn't know when to shut up .
spouting cliched and ridiculous dialog , he screams such lines as , " i was made for the sewer , baby ! "
actually the line is more apropos for the movie as a whole .
sinise plays kevin dunne , a naval officer who is in charge of the security for the secretary of the navy , who has come to watch the fight .
but most people in the film are not who they seem to be , and the thin script makes all of them easy to guess .
the plot , which is told in endless flashbacks , concerns the assassination of the secretary through a scheme set up by some malevolent businessmen ? that adjective is , of course , redundant in hollywood thrillers .
the flashbacks become repetitious with the same scene shown again and again , sometimes from a different perspective and sometimes not .
although a brian de palma film requires a certain amount of gratuitous violence , this one is remarkably tame for the man who became famous when he made carrie .
the movie's outline has some promise , but the movie itself is leaden .
the film takes itself all too seriously .
at best , it is a 1940s-style b movie .
a little humor would have helped the script some , but a complete rewrite would have been better .
and , although i hate to say it , a different director would have been the biggest improvement .
snake eyes runs 1 : 39 .
it is rated r for violence and would be acceptable for teenagers .