Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#35 - Face Off - 1997

Face off was my 7th and final film I watched for Action/Adventure week. Yes another Nicolas Cage film. Heck I could have had a Nicolas Cage week for that matter, added in The Rock and the National Treasures and maybe Gone in 60 Seconds, haha. I actually have the National Treasure's still to watch on my bluray week. Back to Face Off, below is my detailed review of this film.

I remember seeing this film in the movie theaters when it came out when I lived in North Carolina. I loved this film. I really like Nicolas Cage and John Travolta as actors so this was an easy one for me to like. One thing I did find interesting was Desperate Housewives "Mike" was in this film in a pretty decent role as Buzz alongside Margaret Cho as well. I remember Cho but not Denton. In other small cameo's there was Danny Masterson from That 70's Show and then Thomas Jane whom I remembered from Deep Blue Sea and who currently stars in "Hung" on HBO. Its always interesting to me to see actors whom had small roles in older films. The acting was good in this film but really the only two you really need to see were Cage and Travolta. They were great!

This movie is known for one thing, action and it delivered on all aspects of the word. While the different settings and backgrounds of this film might have changed they were not an integral part of this film because the action followed these two wherever they went. Battle scenes in this film took place in a church, on a plane, on a boat, and in a prison to name a few. They were all loud and explosion packed and I think there was more gunfire displayed in this film than any other this week, scratch that I guarantee there was!!

My favorite battle scene was the final one that started in a church and followed Sean Archer (John Travolta) and Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) onto a boat which concluded with a crash filled with fire and explosions. It was a perfect way to conclude the film considering the high action packed momentum the film had. The story is simple, Sean Archer (Travolta) was originally targeted by criminal and murderer Castor Troy (Cage) and while on a Merry Go Round at the beginning of the film Troy shoots and injured Archer but the bullet that went through him killed his son, Michael. The movie plot is simple. Archer wants to find Troy and capture and kill him for revenge of his son's death. Fast Forward to six years later after Archer finds him and captures him his team learns that Troy's younger brother Pollax knows vital information about a bomb that is set to explode and endanger the lives of thousands of people in Los Angeles. This is where the "face off" comes into play. In a controversial decision Archer gets a face transplant and becomes Castor Troy but in a miraculous recovering Troy who had been in a coma awakens and gets a doctor to put on Archer's face and hence the story goes from there.

Both Cage and Travolta were brilliant in portraying each other and their characters after the face transfer. There movements, mannerisms, and actions throughout the film really made you feel as though they truly changed bodies and became the other person. I personally thought Travolta was great and pulled it off slightly better than Cage but not by much. They were both great and this was a very unique role for them to have to play. Originally Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were thought to play these characters and I'm glad they did not because it would not have been the same, at all!

This movie wasn't filled with special effects throughout but had a few scenes that were pretty cool most notably the face transfer scene. The way they took the face off and simply placed it in what looked to be a simple bowl of water was crazy. There were a few instances, very short in length where you got to see the patients face without a face, if that makes any sense at all. It was very quick and very bloody and that moment after Troy awakens from a coma and feels his face with two fingers from his right hands and blood and what looks to be a small chunk of skin or flesh is exposed its just crazy. Can you imagine waking up without a face?? Nobody said this was the most believable movie ever and it isn't but its pretty darn cool to watch!

There were certain scenes that stood out to me in this film that were my favorites. Below is a list of some of those scenes. When Archer (really Troy) comes to see Troy (really Archer) in Prison. Travolta's face is priceless as he smirks under a newspaper he is holding before spouting out the line "oooooooo weeeee your good looking". This whole scene was great. I also enjoyed almost all the scenes with Troy's younger brother Pollax as I felt Alessandro Nivola acted superbly in this role as a weird and very odd troubled young man. His quirks and head shoulder shrugs through the film were interesting to watch. There was the scene when Archer (really Troy) see's his daughter Jamie when first coming home and he sings "Papas got a brand new bag" then dances off in classic Travolta style. It was very retro to me.

Another favorite scene of mine was when they were all in the church at the end of the film and after 5 people are all there pointing guns at each other Archer (really Troy) yells out "weeeeeeeee what a predicament". Just the way Travolta presented himself in some of these scenes was great. He wasn't the only one though. Cage's scene at Dietrich's house where he doped up and states he wants to take Archer's "face off" and then mimics what he wants done is crazy. His expression when Sasha enters the room is creepy and funny all in the same sense. Really odd to say the least. There were lots of very cool scenes in this film and the one where Troy (really Archer) is still at Dietrich's house has a huge gun battle in which a short portion of that battle is done with the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" being played in the background and hearing the faint sound of bullets flying in this scene with the song being played was reminiscent to me of the scene in The House of 1000 Corpses. Very unique and different and I loved it. Come to find out that scene was improvised by director John Woo!

This film was great and for a longer movie (140 minutes) it only really lagged at one point when Archer (really Troy) was having dinner with the wife, Eve Archer. This scene could have been taken out but I do see the relevance of it. Still this was a great flick and it ended this week's action/adventure week with its 7th straight A rated film. Actually to clarify that they weren't all A exactly, some A+, some A-'s but you get the drift. I basically made some pretty good choices for this week and even though I had seen all these movies before I didn't remember some of them being as good as they were so it was wonderful to get a chance to see these again and remember how great they truly are!! I do have to say, after this week I want to go and see Jurassic Park III and The Rock!! Overall I give this film an A!

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