PRISONERS OF GHOSTLAND (2021)

Directed By: Sion Sono
Written By: Aaron Hendry & Reza Sixo Safai
Cinematography: Sohei Tanikawa 
Editor: Taylor Levy 

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, Nick Cassavettes, Bill Moseley, Tak Sakaguchi, Charles Glover, Young Dais, Tetsu Wantanabe 

Set in the treacherous frontier city of Samurai Town where a ruthless bank robber is sprung from jail by wealthy warlord The Governor, whose adopted granddaughter Bernice has gone missing. The Governor offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for retrieving the runaway. Strapped into a leather suit that will self-destruct within three days, the bandit sets off on a journey to find the young woman and his own path to redemption.


Being that Nicolas Cage stars in this film. The audience will already expect a certain level of craziness. Here the film fulfills expectations.

So that while off the wall, violent and colorful. The movie also comes off like a blockbuster that somewhat for all of its eccentricities also comes off unexpectedly conventional for a post-apocalyptic film. 

Especially when you consider that this is Sion Sono’s first English language film and teaming up with an American star known for unconventional choices. That seems like a Genius pair made in Heaven. As Director sono is known for films that are considered out there in mentality and surreal in visions and atmosphere. 

The director’s eye for visuals and over-the-top excess while staying stylish and artistic are on full display. Though the film also seems to lack certain courage of vision. Though Cage certainly easily fits right in. 

As it seems it has reigned In only a little to be less indulgent and think more about the audience. It does come off as more poetic and symbolic at times.

The film oddly lacks as much action as might be expected and that seems to be set-up and building up to. 

While the film is quite an adventure filled with plenty of themes of redemption and a combination of cultural clashes and influence. It certainly comes across as different and hard to exactly define, but still oddly feels a little dispirited and tame. 

By the end, the film is a post-apocalyptic film that is heavily influenced to end a western. Though one thing the film promises is that it is never what you thought you would be watching.

Grade: C+

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