Sympathy for the Devil Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Nicolas Cage continues to be one of Hollywood’s most prolific actors. He approaches his profession as matter-of-factly as possible, which is why he does not hesitate to participate in a variety of projects. That is why his roles over the past few years have differed greatly in quality. However, Cage himself doesn’t seem particularly worried about this. And even from rather pretentious images and ideas, he seems to get pleasure. In “Fight with the Devil,” Cage tried on the image of another madman who took a simple family man hostage. We tell you in our review how this story turned out for the audience.

Pros: the acting by Nicolas Cage and Joel Kinnaman, which underpins the appeal of the story; excellent adherence to the canons of the psychological thriller genre; tense story Cons: some stereotypical script; lack of truly original ideas; some may find Cage’s emotional expression excessive

“Fight with the Devil” / Sympathy for the Devil

Genre psychological thriller
Directed by Yuval Adler
Starring Nicolas Cage, Joel Kinnaman, Kaiwi Lyman, Cameron Lee Price, Nancy Goode, Alexis Zollicoffer
Premiere cinemas
Release year 2023
IMDb website

A stranger with a gun (Nicolas Cage) gets into a man’s (Joel Kinnaman) car and forces him to hit the road. The stranger’s intentions are not completely clear, but his entire behavior screams that not everything is in order with his psyche. The driver tries to behave as carefully as possible, because the stranger threatens not only him, but also his family. And the longer their unexpected journey lasts, the less chance there is for a happy outcome of the situation.

The film was directed by Yuval Adler. Before that, he made his mark in several dramas and thrillers (“Bethlehem”, “The Messenger”, “The Secrets We Keep”). All of Adler’s works are maximally concentrated on their heroes, which allows them to remain extremely human. And in his new work, the director does not change the established principles.

“Fight with the Devil” is a classic psychological thriller that could easily have been released somewhere in the 90s. Actually, the film is imbued with the spirit of cinema of that time (with particularly noticeable elements of neo-noir).

The journey of the driver and the stranger quickly turns into the most intense action, which at the same time is reminiscent of dozens of other thrillers and retains its identity.

This is mainly due to Nicolas Cage. With his charisma and expression, the actor pulls out literally all the scenes. Even if there are no revelations in his character in terms of cultural value, he still turned out to be awe-inspiring. True, sometimes Cage displays too many unusual emotions per unit of time. At such moments, it seems that he is clearly overacting.

Joel Kinnaman’s character contrasts well with Cage due to his normality and down-to-earth nature. He seems like a very standard person who finds himself in a not-so-standard situation. But the further the plot develops, the more gloomy and secretive the driver begins to seem.

The whole story rests on the interaction between the driver and the stranger, as it should be in classic psychological thrillers. You can’t call the film a chamber film, but it gives exactly that kind of feeling.

“Fight with the Devil” gets the most out of its two central characters, turning a hostage situation into a compelling confrontation for viewers.

But beyond the clash of two personalities, there is nothing special in the film. It follows fairly standard patterns without trying to find anything new in its formula. Is that sometimes the script goes into the territory of “survival games”, but does it somewhat strained. And such situations arise solely because of Cage’s expression, which not everyone will like.

“Fight with the Devil” is an even movie, even considering its thriller nature. The viewer can get answers to almost all questions himself literally in the first minutes of viewing.

This is not to say that this is completely bad, because the film crew clearly understood that their main focus was on the main characters. And everything else serves as decoration and context for them. But still, for some, this approach will seem somewhat boring.

None of this makes “Fight with the Devil” a bad movie. It’s more old-fashioned. And this definitely has its own charm. Especially if you love Nicolas Cage, because the film definitely has the almost subtle spirit of his work from the 90s.


“Fight with the Devil” plunges you into a tense situation for an hour and a half, in which it is not yet entirely clear who the real devil is. The film copes with its task of telling the story of one kidnapping. And he does it well enough that you don’t want to demand anything more from him.

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