- 2hr 20min
Sometimes the world can get stressful, and that’s when it’s time to pull out the comfort movies. Face/Off is one of mine. The gold guns! The Chiclets! Yes! Everything works, from its bananas storyline to its hammy acting and dramatic, beautifully shot action sequences.
John Woo really brings it here. There’s this one shoot out scene juxtaposed with ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ on a little kid’s headphones that’s amazing. And Castor Troy’s flying coat rivals Keanu Reeve’s Matrix one, and it came out first.
Like any sci-fi film that intends to have some fun, the science here is absolutely ridiculous. John Travolta the cop has his face cauterized off, sucked into a water solution, then switched with the Nicholas Cage terrorist face. He then infiltrates a maximum security secret prison where the prisoners all stomp around in magnetized boots and… gets the MacGuffin. There’s no need to get into any more of that because it’s pretty much all you need to know. Face… off. Boom. Get as literal or as figurative with it as you want.
As a literal switcheroo situation, the plot makes for some fun scenarios, like Nicholas Cage the terrorist waking up from his coma without his face. The camera tricks used to hint at this, before actually showing the skin blob with googly eyes, are total Hitchcockish fun. And when he finds the John Travolta cop face and forces the doctors to put it on, things get even more interesting. In no time he starts banging the cop’s wife so she can get her groove back. Then he teaches the teenaged daughter how to stab horny guys in the thigh with a switch knife… all while smoking and ogling her butt.
John Travolta and Nicholas Cage are at their campy best here. I honestly have never been able to decide which one plays Castor Troy better. I love that they get to make fun of each other’s acting styles, and themselves.
This movie is better than it has any right to be. The figurative side of it all even touches on subjects like grief, forgiveness, and empathy. Oh, and how to stab your dad if he starts acting like Nicholas Cage.
This is quality cheese. I highly recommend.