You guys know absolutely well what can hype do to you. It sticks in to your mind and never lets you go. Fortunately, it made me watch this movie, and I was totally blown off since I have never seen an action flick like this. Its so compelling an intriguing that it just makes you rewind the tape and see it again. Director John Woo (Broken Arrow) finally hits it big with this masterful film, which I thought it was impressive, bravo Señor Woo. Sure It's got John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, but they deliver too, so what the fuck?The twist starts also in an odd and chilling way. Sean Archer (Travolta), whose an FBI agent, has always been on the chase for elusive terrorist Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage), but one day while Archer is in the fair with his son, Troy plots his killing, but it goes wrong, since Archer gets wounded, but his son is killed. Archer, fueled by revenge goes after Troy even more relentlessly, eventually catching him after an exciting airport chase. He's supposedly dead, but isn't, he's in a coma. Why? Because they found a disk from his brother Pollux (Alessandro Nivola), who is Troy's sidekick, that Castor has set up a bomb with destructive proportions somewhere in the Los Angeles area. Archer tries to shake Troy’s friends out and his brother to find out where the bomb is, but no luck. What’s the final choice? Become Castor Troy. What? Where? Ahem, Gurgle. THAT’S THROUGH A FACIAL SURGERY THAT CUTS YOUR FACE OFF AND REPLACES IT WITH ANOTHER ONE. Get it? Now the plan is to become Castor and go to jail and persuade Pollux to tell the location of the bomb, and then they pull him out. Little does he know that Castor awakes from his coma and soon kills everybody that knows about the mission (Its a black bag operation, only a few people know), not before forcing the doctor to transform him into Archer, ruining everything on the original Archer's plans, and life. So the original Archer must stop the fake Archer before its too late.
"One Of The Best Si-Fi/Action Flicks"
Confusing isn't it? But that's the movies key of originality, and it works. Based on that, it heads to another twist that basically reflects down into the basic principles of acting, which is imitation. So the film analyses the ways of impersonating someone, since you see Troy -as Archer- turns Archer’s family upside down, and Archer's wife, Eve (Joan Allen), is surprised at his sudden feeling for romance when before he was full of revenge and depression, and furthermore Troy supporting Archer's daughter Jamie's (Dominique Swain) rebellion. Same thing happens with Archer as Troy, who tries to be like him and around Castor's brother Pollux, and furthermore Castor's gang. So it’s really interesting on how this situation is portrayed, since it shows you the challenges of being someone, and tries to imitate that someone. But on the outside, we see an actor’s dream come true, which is playing another actor. The feat of Travolta playing Cage and vice versa, basically gives out the film’s finest stroke of originality, and that impressed me. The movie is even more boosted by a set of action sequences that really blow you away. Woo's style of slow motion action places an atmosphere of suspense and "hold your breath" type of stuff, but there was a little flaw that I caught. Sometimes they are quite overlong; sure they are well choreographed but the gun fighting and all that never seems to stop. So this somewhat can become annoying to some viewers but for the rest if us it goes into thin air. The film's other key are both Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, whose performances in the film were top notch and pull off each others parts magnificently. The supporting cast is also great, and the camerawork, along with Woo's direction is impressive. Also the Sci-Fi parts are not only in the “swapping faces” part, wait until you see the prison scenes, it makes you wonder how the prison's of the twenty-first century are going to be.In the end, I recommend this movie to anyone, because its great, it’s nearly flawless, and it’s enjoyable. It has basically set new standards on many action films to come, and probably will be up there in the "probable classics" list. Enjoy the ride. (4.5-5)
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originally posted: 04/18/01 22:33:46