August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Has Brian De Palma finally lost his mind? For most of his new conspiracy thriller, we’re inside a glitzy Atlantic City arena, the site of a heavyweight boxing match. Strutting around madly is Rick Santoro (Nicolas Cage), a hyperkinetic sleazo cop. The champ, on whom Rick has a big wager, is about to throw the fight. Why? Oh, the usual reason: He’s the stooge in a plot to assassinate the U.S. secretary of defense, who is seated at ringside, behind a mysterioso brunet masquerading as a blond (you know, just like in … Vertigo!). The camera choreography is exquisite, but De Palma is so entranced with staging his purplish voyeuristic set pieces that we can hardly believe a minute of what we’re seeing. He’s become the masturbator of suspense. D

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mpaa
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director
Cast
Gary Sinise
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