film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, September 21, 2019

A Score to Settle 2019 * * Stars

A Score to SettleDirector: Shawn Ku
Year: 2019
Rated NR
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Benjamin Bratt, Noah Le Gros

"Time keeps marching on. Ain't nothing we can do about it". In 2019's A Score to Settle, "time" sure has weathered the face of paycheck player, twitch-meister, and hair evolution icon, Mr. Nicolas Cage. He looks about as hungover and damaged as I've ever seen him in an Internet-only, released vehicle.

Anyway, a mob enforcer (Frank Carver) forcefully tracks down his own employees after they caused him to be imprisoned for 19 years. He's got wishy washy vengeance on his mind, a need to collect Italian guns, and some do re mi to spend (that means money). That's the blueprint for "Score" and at 103 elongated minutes, it really "settles" in. I mean really.

Related imageA Score to Settle, with its all over the place character study masking as routine revenge thriller, deals with macho confrontations, romanticism, a couple of retribution kills, some blurred flashbacks, and some fanatical, father-son bonding. Salivating action junkies might not get what they're looking for with "Score".

Cage in the lead role as Carver (mentioned earlier), gives us the usual "cagey" ad lib-s and overall, kooky "Cage-ness". In a structurally dissident flick with no stinking rules (and no explanation of buying time), he's like a cross between his Roy Waller in Matchstick Men, his Frank Pierce from Bringing Out the Dead, and his Donald Kaufman from 2002's Adaptation.

At times Nic's persona is like a worn schizo who crashed and forgot to take his Ambien. The overacting (and mediocre acting for that matter) is evident and the income tax repayment film tour continues (Nicky boy seems to still be in real-life debt).

Image result for a score to settle movie scenesAll in all, five production companies, five distributors, four editors, and one unseasoned director (Shawn Ku) had a hand in making A Score to Settle (yeesh). I like the good intentions, the dare to be slow burn, and the enthusiasm but I'm going with a "score" of two stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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