Raising Arizona 1987

"...and when there was no meat, we ate fowl and when there was no fowl, we ate crawdad and when there was no crawdad to be found, we ate sand."

While Raising Arizona is a highly entertaining movie that has been raised to a cult stutus over the years, it still sufferes from some fundamental flaws that keep it from deserving all of the praise it is ususally given.

H.I. himself is a unique and interesting chracter, loveable in evey way, even though he is a repeat offender. In fact, all of his chracter flaws are turned into cute quirks that only make you root for him more. Nicholas Cage really nailed this concept and character. I love the fact that he gives some very insightful and well spoken voice overs in the movie. The idea of the dim witted poet is a unique and interesting one, especially when it is juxtaposed with a thick redneck accent. The problem with this concept is that two other characters begin to take on this persona as well. Gale and Evelle have some funny lines but they begin to sound like something that H.I. should say and after a while the concept just begins to seem repetitive. "No, ma'am. We released ourselves on our own recognizance."

While I think that the concept was a good one, the film itself feels a bit rough. The pacing is just off in some parts where certain scenes drag on and then the end of the movie felt very rushed. It also took a very long time for the film to get to the actual plot, which is to say, stealing the baby. The scenes in jail were funny, and some of the best scenes in the movie but they were just not necessary to the story. The movies tended to be predictable most of the time, which is not necessarily a bad thing but it was often times clear that it was intended for certain things to be a surprise but they just fell flat. Finally, some of the jokes in the movie just felt like they were straight out of Saturday morning cartoons. It was just not funny and not necessary to have Gale screaming on screen for a full two minutes of the movie and then later to have Gale and Evelle look at each other ans scream back and forth, it felt very juvenile.

While I love the concept for the movie, many of the jokes, and Nicolas Cage's performance, I really feel that "Raising Arizona" lacked a lot. It felt like a comedy made by someone still trying to find their voice and was very rough in some parts. The good jokes in the movie were not enough to save it and even those began to become sparse in the second half of the film. This is just one film that I will probably never give the praise that many people do.