Some people will rent just about any video with half-naked women on the box. Even so, it's unlikely too many people suckered by THE GLASS CAGE will stay awake through it. It's a silly, ugly story about the crooked owners of an upscale strip club and the ex-CIA agent who brings them down.
The film is so stylistically unctuous and vacant that even the naked bodies become boring.
A drifter named Paul Yaeger (Richard Tyson) walks into a fancy New Orleans strip club owned by two French brothers, Marko and Anton (Horacio Anthony and Anthony Curtis). Paul, who apparently has a history with Marko's lover Jacqueline (Charlotte Lewis), immediately gets a job as a bartender.
Marko and Anton are smuggling everything from diamonds to heroin to Cuban refugees. They are assisted by Detective Montrachet (Eric Roberts), who plays both sides of the fence, and rich patron Tobias Silkerman (Richard Paul). Montrachet discovers that Paul was once a CIA agent, now on the trail of
other CIA agents who betrayed him in Africa. Paul had left Jacqueline in Africa, the only way to save his own skin.
Marko cheats on Jacqueline with her friend Dianne (Maria Ford), and Jacqueline returns to Paul. Marko uses her as bait and cons Paul into joining the business.
Marko and Silkerman plan a huge diamond heist behind Anton's back. Although Paul is set up, he exposes Marko with the help of Montrachet. He plans to escape with Jacqueline, but this time she leaves him behind. Paul has the last laugh; she thinks he gave her the diamonds, but as she leaves the
country, she discovers he's lied to her and she has nothing.
THE GLASS CAGE is exploitation, but takes itself seriously anyway. As the naked bodies writhe in the background, the foreground contains a surprisingly complicated plot, one that's sure to lose most viewers. For example, we learn that Paul is still seeking the mysterious LeBeque (Joseph
Campanella), who sold him out in Africa. When some of Paul's CIA acquaintances show up (and pin a murder on Paul), it's never made clear that LeBeque is there in New Orleans and behind much of Marko and Anton's work. We also never figure out who the other CIA men are. The filmmakers should have
known better than to try to be clever with this plot.
The strip bar and blues soundtrack could have created a wonderfully seedy atmosphere for this story of double-crossing, love gone wrong, and revenge. However, with its slick lighting and remarkably clean sets, THE GLASS CAGE loses its own identity. The ludicrous sex scenes, cheap special effects,
and lame attempts at humor don't help.
The acting isn't much better. Richard Tyson, as Paul, shows emotion only by a distrustful snarl or a flex of his biceps. Charlotte Lewis, as Jacqueline, is given top billing, probably because her naked body is bathed in the most complimentary light. What the extremely talented Eric Roberts is
doing in the throwaway role of Montrachet is anybody's guess. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity, sexual situations, substance abuse.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: Some people will rent just about any video with half-naked women on the box. Even so, it's unlikely too many people suckered by THE GLASS CAGE will stay awake through it. It's a silly, ugly story about the crooked owners of an upscale strip club and the ex… (more)