A potentially powerful observation of the schism between generations turns into a mindless—yet surprisingly entertaining—kill-or-be-killed tale of parental violence. Nicolas Cage and Parker Posey star as two parents driven mad by the threat of “planned obsolescence.” As with the rest of the elder set in this community, the two turn their eyes on snuffing out their replacements once and for all.
A complete story makes an argument by successfully encoding the four possible perspectives. Incomplete stories fall short.
The Main Character point-of-view speaks of the “I” perspective. The challenging Influence Character point-of-view the “You” perspective. The relationship between the two establishes the “We” perspective, and the Overall Story Throughline covers the final “They” perspective. With all four aspects accounted for, an argument ensures the integrity of the presentation and a meaningful coherence to the entire experience.
Without, the result is merely a tale: a series of events leading from a beginning to an ending (unless you’re Mom and Dad in which case, you don’t even really get the ending) where the meaning of such events relies solely on where it stops and starts. Adjust the in or out points and the “meaning” of the tale shifts.
Complete stories establish a holistic understanding of the conflict at hand and a purpose towards developing a better understanding of the problems we face.
Mom and Dad explores compelling subject matter. The Main Character Throughline offered by Cage’s father figure and the relationship between father and son present ample opportunity for saying something more—yet without that challenging Influence Character perspective, and a significant example of that view changing and possibly growing the film devolves into what you might expect from the trailer.
Excellent direction, a killer title sequence, and Cage being Cage make the trip worthwhile—just know that you’ll quickly forget it an hour or two later.