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'Snake Eyes': Fine Stars, So-So Plot

If you are thinking about gambling, CBS 'This Morning' Contributor Gene Siskel says Snake Eyes is a good bet, but primarily only because of its leading actors and its director.

Nicolas Cage plays an Atlantic City detective investigating the murder of a government official during a boxing match.

The movie is a good bet, says Siskel, because of the charisma of Cage and co-star Gary Sinise, and because of the direction by Brian De Palma, who is rarely upstaged by actors.
At the fight, before shots have been fired, detective Cage gets straight talk from his best friend, a Navy security officer played by Sinise.

Sinise looks as though he bulked up for the role. It gives him a commanding presence in the picture, a leading man quality Siskel says he hasn't seen before.

Sinise matches up well with the very talented Cage, and that is not easy to do.

"When I watched Cage in this picture,," says Siskel, "I thought of a conversation he and I had backstage at the Oscars when he won for Leaving Las Vegas, and I said, 'You're going to get the big money offers now.' He said, 'Yes, and I'm going to do some of those action pictures, but I'm going to do them differently. I'm going to be a little looser as the hero.' And that he has done."

Yet, Snake Eyes doesn't add up to much, Siskel says. Most of the time the story is forgettable ,even when the honesty of the main characters is questioned.

"When I think of Snake Eyes," adds the critic, "I don't think of a story... I just watch these two fine actors work very hard - basically without a net - to entertain us."

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