Saturday, December 29, 2012

Face/Off (1997)

Director: John Woo

Starring: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Gina Gershon, Dominique Swain, Nick Cassavetes, Margaret Cho, Thomas Jane

More info: IMDb

Tagline: In order to catch him, he must become him.

Plot: FBI Special Agent Sean Archer tries to find a biological weapon placed in Los Angeles by a sadistic terrorist-for-hire and criminal mastermind named Castor Troy. Archer has hunted Troy for the last 8 years, and is consumed by revenge because Troy is responsible for the death of Archer's son. To do this, Archer must "borrow" Troy's face using a surgical procedure to go undercover as Troy, but things go wrong when Troy assumes the identity of Archer.


My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

The premise is ridiculous as shit and I'm shocked that as dumb as it sounds (and Hollywood embraces stupid like a fat kid loves cake) the right people were brought on board to turn this into a surprisingly fun picture.  I really enjoy this flick.  It's been at least a decade since I saw it last and I still get a kick out of it.  Part of it is John Woo's direction and action sequences.  The other is Travolta and Cage getting all wacky and trying to act like each other.  It's super fun.  I do have to point out how long the picture is.  It needs a trim.  I could do without Travolta's character dealing with his dead son subplot.  I'm not saying axe the whole thing, I think it's important to the character's motivation, but it was harped on too much and there's a scene 2/3 of the way through that goes on forever about it and it feels like re-treading something we all know anyway.  Then there's the ending with bringing the kid into the family.  The wife and teenage daughter sure as fuck accept this little boy as theirs awfully quick.  Really?  He shows up at the door and they're all smiles and open arms and shit?  Whatever.  Other than that, I really dig this over-the-top, big budget, goofy premise extravaganza.

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