New To Blu: Cage Rehashed: Between Worlds (2018) Reviewed

Coming off the good karma that he built with 2018's horror masterpiece Mandy, Nicolas Cage now stars in the uncomfortably sexy and exploitive new no budget thriller, Between Worlds

Sinking back into caricature form, Cage once again proves he can act, if he could only get out of his own way. Repeating the trope that he's created for himself, he's once again doing the fly by the seat of his pants character that he's repeated for more than a decade. Moving with a dynamic that shifts from nearly peaceful and quaint to that over the top nearly screaming role that he seems to keep in his back pocket, Between Worlds may have been a great premise if directed by someone else with a different cast that might have cared for offering something believable. The ideas are all here for a Twilight Zone-esque story about souls changing bodies and fetishistic plot points about asphyxiation. Unfortunately for viewers, and those that expected something far greater after his last starring role, the voyeuristic nature and cheap production values keep this one in a heavily soiled gutter that hasn't been cleaned in years.  

But you said there'd be sandwiches!

Toting a scummy persona, greasy hair,  a trucker hat, and jeans that definitely haven't been washed in a year, this latest entry in a long line of low budget flicks for Cage turns out one of the strangest and confusing stories he's starred in to date. Part horror, part thrill ride, part late night Cinemax skin flick, this hybrid serves the purpose of doing a couple things. First, it proves that Mr. Cage will never really make a true return to form. He's stuck in place now. His feet are frozen in place. This is his career. Where we expected some revitalization, we've been con jobbed. Secondly, the once great Franka Potente has taken numerous steps down the ladder. From the days of Bourne and Run Lola Run, this is a major misstep for a super talented actress. 

The true issue with the film is the fact of how great the actual idea is. There really is a haunting back story to this thing. But, it's filmed in such a cheap way that it's a hard sell to audiences that are looking for more. And some of the sex play between Cage and Penelope Mitchell is rather uncomfortable to watch at times. Again, there is a core here that could have been captivating. It's literally sad that in a time when original content is so hard to come by that a cool story like this would be delivered in such a horrendous way. 

Yes, sometimes exploitation is fine. There's a time and place for it. I personally found Between Worlds to be a cheap shot that was released to coincide with a mild comeback for Cage. This movie in no way continues the trend that Mandy gave us. He's back in standard mode, doing the very least he can to carry a rather weighty topic. You can skip this one or watch it for fun. But, I don't recommend it in the slightest. 

-Chris George