Sunday, October 16, 2011

FACE/OFF (1997)

Directed By: John Woo
Written By: Mike Werb & Michael Colleary
Cinematography By: Oliver Wood
Editor: Steven Kemper & Christian Wagner

Cast: John Travolta, Nicholas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Nick Cassavetes, Gina Gershon, Robert Wisdom, Dominique Swain, Harve Presnell, Colm Foere, CCH Pounder, John Caroll Lynch, Danny Masterson, Margaret Cho, Thomas Jane, Kirk Baltz, Lisa Boyle

I am surprised how much i still enjoy the film.
The film is strange in that it's supposedly modern but everything feels a little off, Futuristic. The style of the action is broad and over the top. Yet styled with director John Woo's usual style: Doves, Two pistols one in each hand, Ridiculous shoot outs. an obstacle between them throwing around a few comments before the "showdown." It is almost like a comic book come to life, but made in the 80's before they could let the characters be too deep and fully responsible.

It's a fun film as Nicholas Cage goes from full over the top to mournful and giving a meaningful performance and protecting those around you. He is surpringly really good and affective.

John Travolta is ok. I tend to find that he excels when playing villians. So to see him go from mournful which is ok to over the top bad as the villian. Which you can see he prefers but it's always more fun to play the villian. Yuo have no Conscience and can get over the top in chewing scenery.

It's fun to think this was a highly touted big summer movie. Two box office draws at the time in one film co-starring and probably 5 years before this film was made their careers were in such dire straits theywould have been co-starring in straight to home video movies with a far less big a budget.

This film seems to be the highlight of John Woo's hollywood career because after this it seemingly went downhill. He got to direct MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2, Thenhe directed WINDTALKERS which bombed big time. Then PAYCHECK with Ben Affleck. That the films seemed more and more generic. John Woo needs a comeback, I'd rather see him direct a action film then some hack fresh out of film school whois at the mercy of the studio financing it. I guess what hurts him is that he has a style that only itself to epics and action oriented material. Which was in abundance in the 90's. Today people seem to more want thrillers and horror. He has a more bombastic 80's style with style and grace. Here he get's 2 good performances out of 2 actors who have been known time to time to phone in performances. Especially when they are not properly stimulated by the material. Here he makes them compelling of course a good supporting casthelps them stay on their toes.

The Action sequences are great, They are greatly executed and put together so that they amaze you while wondering how theydid that. It keeps you awake and interested. The raid on Nicholas Cage's compound, The Prison Escape and the funeral chase/Shoot out are the standouts.

I foundit interesting that the film was allowed to showcompassion for the so called villians and his messed up family. His brother in law/Right hand man and girlfriend are not actually evil people.They are jsut trying to survive in their own way.

This is a film i highly recommend more for fun then anything else. The type of popcorn film i can really enjoy and not think too hard about, but wonder how it managed to be so good.


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree; I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. The plot is totally ridiculous, and it's a bit too long, but when you just go with it, it's a very fun ride. For the kind of movie it is, it's very well made and that craft elevates it.