A SCORE TO SETTLE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SHAWN KU / SCREENPLAY: JOHN NEWMAN / STARRING: NICHOLAS CAGE, BENJAMIN BRATT, NOAH LE GROS / RELEASE DATE: 30TH SEPTEMBER
It's that time again for us to delve into yet another mediocre direct-to-DVD Nicholas Cage movie, an event which is as common as Adam Sandler making bad films or Marvel releasing two or three movies every single year. You might be getting tired of Cage slumming it but, as the man himself has said, he's a "working actor." He doesn't want to stand by until an actual good project eventually comes along, so he opts to do many direct-to-DVD shlockfests as possible in order to keep himself busy and stay out of trouble, while also indulging on the paychecks he gets.
That's definitely evident in A Score to Settle, where all the familiar tropes come into play including family troubles, a messed-up past, gritty environments, expected violence and Cage ranging from emotionless to full-on OTT. Perhaps there might be some enjoyment depending on how you view these films but, just like all the other films that have come before this, this particular slice of Cage mayhem feels incredibly lifeless with everything from the acting to the filmmaking feeling like it's running on autopilot. Even the story, which revolves around Cage trying to reconnect with his son when he's released from prison as well as seeking revenge against some crims that have wronged him in the past, feels too cookie cutter in the way the plot plays out and how the characters act. They attempt to pull off a twist in the last third of the film, but by the time it happens you'll have long since stopped caring.
Really, it's no surprise to learn that A Score to Settle is just another misfire in the long catalogue of direct-to-DVD misfires in Cage's résumé. If you are a die-hard aficionado then there might be some enjoyment value for you, but if you're looking for a good quality movie viewing experience then it's best to skip this one entirely. There's a plot point of Cage's character suffering from a severe fatal case of insomnia, but this movie will probably send you to sleep instead of keeping you awake.