Film Review: Mom and Dad

Brian Taylor’s Mom and Dad is an amusing thriller that acts as a showcase for Nicolas Cage to go ‘full Cage’. A good premise and some outlandish scenes make for an entertaining movie.

Teenager Carly and her younger brother Josh are used to their normal, suburban existence. When a mass hysteria hits their town, the siblings must protect themselves from the two people they thought they could trust…

The premise of writer-director Brian Taylor’s film is a good one. It is a high-concept idea that imagines one of the worst things that could happen. Mom and Dad does not bother with a reasoned explanation for the hysteria. It is a good thing that Taylor eschews this potential rabbit hole; concentrating on a smaller group of people rather than the wide-scale issue is more rewarding. In providing exposition during the film, the director uses these segments as an opportunity to skewer the excesses of the 24-hour news cycle.

The story begins in a linear format, before interspersing several flashback scenes. The pacing is good, although some of the flashbacks interrupt momentum slightly. Mom and Dad concentrates on the suburban American family. As such, it explores the tension between parents and adolescent children, as well as ageing in suburbia. Both parents have to deal with these issues; Talor relates these to the outward rage that parents exhibit when they are effected.

The joy of the film is to see Nicolas Cage unleashed. Director teases viewers with this, restraining the actor until the right moment. Selma Blair is a good accompaniment to Cage’s mania; she is believable as the doting mother as well as the murderous one. The violence towards Damon as cartoonish quality which must be intentional. Anne Winters gives a decent performance.

The satire meets thriller style makes for some good laughs. Brian Taylor provides an entertaining 85 minutes with Mom and Dad.