So, if you’re like me and you somehow missed this movie growing up, first off, thank your parents. They saved you from some serious psychological damage. John Travolata and Nic Cage have a blast impersonating each other, but wow… some of Travolta’s lines (as Cage's character) make my skin crawl.
He’s so weird.
Getting past that, I think Face Off does what it wanted to do extremely well. It is the epitome of a late 90s action movie from start to finish. The one liners are a plenty, John Woo’s action scenes are dynamic, and every single actor fits their role really well. This includes the supporting actors, who come to life despite lack of screen time due to solid performances.
Some of the lines will stick with me for a long time, especially a specific one delivered by John Travolta in a Mexican standoff scene. We try to keep it family friendly here (kids deserve poorly written articles too) but if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know the line.
Side note: don’t let your kids watch this movie.
The only thing that kept this movie from getting a full score is the fact that Cage only plays himself for the first third of the movie, and then he swaps faces with John Travolta, so it is Travolta who takes over as the over the top, vulgar, terrorist.
But from the very beginning Cage takes off the safety protocols and dives headfirst into some of the strangest scenes you have ever seen.
Side, Side note: When Cage loses his face, he is a special kind of insane, and while I’m not one for fan-casting, I think he could do a very good Joker in the Scott Snyder mold… and no, I’m not just saying that because he lost his face.
Make sure your hot water heater is working because after some of the lines delivered in this film you will need to take a long shower. If you can get past that, you have a stupid blockbuster with excellent action and surprisingly skilled acting by the two leads.
If you grew up on movies like Con-Air, Independence Day, and other 90s spectacle films, you will enjoy this movie.