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Face/Off - Another no-brainer that is still fun.
Member Name: TimListfield
Date: 16/05/10, updated on 17/05/10 (6 review reads)
Advantages: John Trovolta's acting. He revels in his role. John Woo's superb action direction.
Disadvantages: Nicholas Cage is a little weak at times, but it doesn't matter. Plot is ridiculous
Yet another wonderfully pointless, yet totally compelling and watchable action film. Starring the king of aimless action films, Nicholas Cage, and the ever hypnotic John Travolta as two men who end up swapping faces for a while, and are able to lead each other's lives whilst trying to find each other.
The film starts with FBI agent Sean Archer at a fair with his son. He is on a ride. Further away, hitman Caster Troy (Cage) takes a shot at him. The bullet hits Sean and passes through him into his son, killing him.
Years later, and Caster Troy is now a major terrorist who is planning to blow up LA. He's placed the bomb and is leaving. However Sean, who is now looking for his revenge on Troy, is hot on his trail and soon goes after him. Following a thrilling fight at the airport, Caster Troy is apprehended, though he's in a coma. His brother is also arrested and sent to a secret prison.
To find the bomb, Sean agrees to undertake a rare type of treatment. He will have his face removed and have Caster Troy's face put on his body. His body will also be changed to match Troy's. After the operation, Sean is sent to the prison where Troy's brother is incarcerated. He speaks to the brother, who suspects that something is wrong. After a fight, his brother speaks to him and gives him the location of the bomb.
Meanwhile, Troy wakes up from his coma and discovers that he has no face. He has some of his men take the plastic surgeon hostage and then has Sean's face put on his own.
Now the two men have each other's faces. Troy comes to meet Sean in prison, where he informs him (in a wonderful scene) that no one knows about the face change, and that he's going to ruin his life. So Sean must break out and stop him.
This is a ridiculous, but a fabulous idea. Both John Travolta and Nicholas Cage clearly relish playing each others roles. Travolta in particular puts in a truly over the top and hugely fun role as Caster Troy with Sean's face. Nicholas Cage is also able to hold his own, and does a good job as Sean with Troy's face.
Directed by Hong Kong action legend John Woo, the action scenes in this are directed as if they are art, always with a superb soundtrack at any one time. They are so carefully choreographed, yet also so raw, is if unplanned and real. John Woo hasn't had enough job in Hollywood for a man with his skill, and he makes this film a cut above, even if it is totally ridiculous.
Summary: Just good old fashioned pointless action. A huge amount of fun.