Sympathy for the Devil is a psychological horror-thriller film that stars Nicolas Cage & Joel Kinnaman, releasing in 2023.
David Chamberlain is heading for a hospital in Las Vegas; his wife is going into labour. We learn that the couple had previously lost a child before their birth so tensions are understandably high. David pulls into the underground parking area before stopping to let someone else pull out. In this moment, a strange looking individual gets into the back seat of David’s car. He’s naturally shocked but even more so when the clearly unhinged man pulls a gun on him and tells him to start driving.
From here, a violent game of cat and mouse begins in which everything may not be as it seems. As the night goes on, certain details are revealed that will leave you questioning what to believe. One thing is clear; the insane man will stop at absolutely nothing to get what he wants, the truth.
Sympathy for the Devil has a very simple concept but as you know, it’s often the simple stories that are the most enjoyable. As soon as I saw the trailer for this film I got very excited. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’m unironically a huge Nicolas Cage fan. I genuinely think he is one of the greatest actors of all time. What you might not know is that I am as well a big fan of Joel Kinnaman after seeing him absolutely smash it in shows like; The Killing & Altered Carbon. Seeing both of these actors that I adore on the same screen got me immediately interested.
Now, I could be biased but I really enjoyed the performances in this film. Both show a lot of complexity. Cage delivers his signature eccentricity but a lot of emotion as well. Kinnaman is one of the best when it comes to emotionally charged scenes and he doesn’t let you down here either. He’s much more straight faced and subtle which leads to the two characters working off of each other really well.
There’s a few action filled scenarios but I cannot deny it would have been cool to have had more. I just really enjoyed seeing these two characters going back and forth. There’s a nice feeling of tension throughout and a level of unpredictability due to the unhinged nature of Cage’s character. I can’t really go into much detail on how things play out because of spoilers but there’s certainly intrigue as events unfold. The ending provides the answers with a clever tie in to the title of film. It does raise questions about some of the earlier moments though.
In terms of the negative aspects, there are a few. Firstly, there are plenty of opportunities for David to have attempted an escape. The film somewhat attempts to explain why he can’t just run away but I don’t really buy it I’m afraid. Additionally, there are some longer moments of dialogue that are well acted but I would have liked more visuals to go along it.
Overall, I enjoyed Sympathy for the Devil. It has a simplistic concept and does just about as much as it can with the obvious constraints.
Sympathy for the Devil
The Final Score - 7/10