Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Raizing Hariso-na (Ford!)

Dir: Joel Coen
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter

What was the deal with all the films about babies in the late 80's? It went 'baby-crazy'. Three Men and a Baby... Three Men and a Little Lady... erm... this film. The list goes on.

Maybe it was in an effort to appeal to the 'baby boomers' who had cash to spend... Or could it be that Holywood was trying to promote family values, having noticed the declining birth rates following the Vietnam War? Either way, Narry Borman doesn't care, so quit whining, pipsqueak, or I'll bust yer chops.

Raising Arizona is the Coen brothers' attempt at a baby film. Like many others of its kind, the baby in this flick gets kidnapped - albeit by a pair of wannabe (but sterile/barren) parents. The rest of Raising Arizona is a (cough) hair(izona) raising experience for the would-be child-bringer-uppers, as they are pursued by the law, the real parents, a bounty hunter and, ultimately, their own consciences.

The story is more centered on Nicholas Cage's poor attempts to become a real man, father and husband. The baby is quite incidental to the whole thing. The problem is that the character of Hi (Nick Cage) isn't engaging enough for us to care. He's entertaining, but not very deep or captivating. So, instead of getting hooked by the story, you look out for the comedy highlights - of which there are several. John Goodman delivers most of the humour... how he manages that when at least 50% of his dialog is nothing but yelling at the top of his voice I don't know.

The ending goes a bit nasty and dark, which was disappointing as the rest of the film was lighthearted. But, then, this is a Coen Bros film., and as such it hints at some of the better things to come throughout their careers.

Rating: Good

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