Raising Arizona (1987)

raising_arizona

A childless ex-con and his wife abduct the baby of a local celebrity but things become complicated when his escaped prison buddies show up on their doorstep with a demonic bounty hunter on their tail.

Raising Arizona is the closest the Coen brothers have come to straight comedy and it has a lot of very funny moments, largely provided by the excellent supporting cast in the form of John Goodman’s career criminal, Trey Wilson as the amusingly earthy Nathan Arizona and Sam MacMurray’s hilariously awful family.

It all seems a little slight compared to the more mature, sophisticated work for which the Coens have been responsible since but there are plenty of laughs – the entire format of TV sitcom My Name Is Earl was pilfered from here – and it stands up as a fun offbeat comedy that makes great use of Nicolas Cage’s talent for redneck comedy.

7/10

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