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The new film by writer-director Mike Figgis' (Stormy Monday, Internal Affairs) offers a hard lesson in postmodern outlawry and its sad little anarchies. Ben (Nicolas Cage) quite self-consciously intends to drink himself to death on a maniacally accelerated program. Soon after arriving in Las Vegas, he meets Sera (Elisabeth Shue), a masochist who is perhaps not quite as smart and tough as she thinks she is, and thus obviously in line for a painful come-uppance. The audience is invited to watch their downward spiral. "Figgis places a few opportunities to arrest their course along this pair's path," says Richard Schickel, "but Ben and Sera don't notice them, and Figgis refuses to exploit them for dramatic purposes or even for ironic effect. Even the neon glitz of his milieu visual catnip to most directors, is muted. In the end, this film may be just a bit too pleased with its own artful bleakness."