Mom and Dad (2018)


Being that this is directed by one half of the Neveldine/Taylor dynamic duo, it’s not surprising to find that Mom and Dadfeels like a Neveldine/Taylor sensory attack, just one that lands only half the damage. It’s fine though!

The film’s primary novelty is to turn domestic banality into a kill crazy battle royale. Kitchens, garages, cellars, toolboxes and any household items with blunt corners or sharp edges are transformed into an implement of harm or self-defense. Nic Cage, teaming with Taylor for the second time following Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, is great. His nutty choices are given free reign with one speech delivered amidst the destruction of a pool table being a real highlight. The film is constantly living in the moment, scenes start late, finish early with momentum rarely halting. The one instance of backstory is dropped in only when it needs to be, quite late into the last act and is a welcome instant of character building.

It’s enjoyable enough but movies of this nature, that seem to exist solely to revel in untapped mass hysteria and ferocious explosions of comic violence often have a numbing effect on me. Even at 85 minutes this feels overlong and I kept tuning out. Fans of Taylor will enjoy it as an MTV-like burst of hyper genre activity – it achieves what it sets out to achieve – but if you want lasting impact, look elsewhere for a bite in the jugular.

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