Monday, July 30, 2018

Movie Review: "Mom and Dad" (2018)

Director: Brian Taylor
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes

A strange phenomenon causes people's parental instincts to flip, turning their innate desire to protect their young into an insatiable urge to kill them.
"Oh no honey, it's okay, you never have to be afraid of me." (Image Source)
A movie about parents wanting to murder their children starring Nicolas Cage sounds fun as hell to us, but we can see why it might be a dealbreaker for other film lovers. "Mom and Dad" is written and directed by Brian Taylor, who is responsible for movies like "Crank," "Gamer," and "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," none of which we enjoyed. The film stars Cage and Selma Blair as Brent and Kendall Ryan. The two of them might be parents now, but they were once foot-loose-and-fancy-free-fun-loving people until they became parents and their lives became dedicated to their children. Sure, their teenage daughter Carly (Anne Winters) is an ungrateful, self-centered, rude girl who steals from her parents, but hey, that's a teenager for you. Their son Josh (Zackary Arthur) is still in the "my parents are my best friends" phase, but he often causes accidental destruction with his childlike curiosity. Parents have a natural drive to protect their kids, this we know is true, but one day, a strange phenomenon causes this instinct to morph into a murderous and uncontrollable rage. Suddenly, parents everywhere are trying to murder their young left and right.
"Everybody's so crazy today!" (Image Source)
As we mentioned above, "Mom and Dad" is not going to be a film everyone will like and clamor to see. Some may gasp at the mere idea of a movie about parents murdering their children, especially one that handles the topic in such a satirical and darkly humorous way. This film is a pure warped fantasy about parents venting their frustrations with their often ungrateful children through taunting, torture, and homicide. It focuses on the fact that parents often sacrifice their own wants and dreams and social lives for the sake of their kids. They provide for them, they nurture them, they protect them, and yet mom and dad's precious little babies can still turn into disrespectful insufferable snots, even with all the love and coddling in the world.

Once the unexplained signal goes out over the airwaves and parents start flipping their shit, the story turns into utter chaos and pure mayhem from that point on. Very few actors do "chaos" as well as Nicolas Cage. Say what you will about him, but Goddess bless him and his spooky eyes, deranged facial expressions, and maniacal reactions. This is an instance where his over-the-top insane acting and expressions actually benefit the situation as opposed to feeling out of place. Much of what he does balances between creepy and hilarious. Selma Blair is the more straight-laced of the two parentals, but her change back and forth between concerned mother and vengeful psycho works well for us, and she and Cage work together very well on this project.
"That's why you always listen to your mother." (Image Source)
"Mom and Dad" is bloody, violent, and ridiculous. Yes, some will be offended by it right out the gate. That being said, we were not because we are apparently sick, twisted individuals. Despite not being parents, we actually sympathize with the parents and understand the message of this story, minus all of the murder and nth degree stuff. We found a lot of enjoyment in this battle of survival between parents and children and had a lot of fun watching it.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 75%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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