The bravura, and justly lauded, opening shot of Snake Eyes creates a momentum that director Brian De Palma has difficulty sustaining over the course of the film. Not that he doesn't try. In an uneven effort that nonetheless has quite a bit to recommend it, De Palma inspiredly pairs with Nicolas Cage -- a brilliant ham along the lines of De Palma-favorite John Lithgow. As a gleefully corrupt cop, Cage brings energy to the screen to match the director's technical skill, but the assassination-centered storyline begs comparison to the paranoid intensity of Blow Out -- perhaps De Palma's masterpiece -- without ever achieving it. By the time Cage's character catches up to the convolutions of the plot, the film's energy is spent. Gripping but not quite satisfying, by the end Snake Eyes reveals itself to be a minor, limited success.
by Keith Phipps review