212th Movie Review: Face/Off (1997)

The best action movie I’ve seen in a looooooooooong time

[SPOILER ALERT] If you haven’t watched this

I could barely find a good movie these days, so I decided to backtrack and catch the movies I’ve never seen during my childhood. The first movie I checked was Face/Off. After watching this, one thing came into my mind… I can’t believe I missed this!

Well, there’s an obvious explanation to that. This was shown when I was just 3 years old. That was 14 years ago. Seeing actors Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, it seems that they really LOOKED like dashing Hollywood stars during their prime. I’ve seen both of their latest movies and it doesn’t even compare to how well they were in this film. Both guys were AMAZING!

Pretty much EVERYTHING was amazing. The direction, the action, the plot, the dialogue, the cinematography, the casting…I can name a lot more. The point is that this movie should be something everyone should have seen. I swear, watching this movie makes movies like The A-Team or Transformers seem like trash.

I had high hopes for this movie, but it even exceeded my expectations. Director John Woo beautifully mixed different story elements: prison break, family drama, revenge, psychological thriller, futuristic. The pacing was fantastic! If this movie was made today they would’ve cut this into two parts.

Out of all the great things in this film, the one I loved the most was the plot. Sure it has flaws, but it isn’t enough to leave you irritated or confused. I thought that this movie was just an action movie based on a chase between a cop and a criminal (like Catch Me If You Can), but oh no, it’s not just that.

Sean Archer (John Travolta) caught Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) only 20 minutes into the movie. I smelled something fishy right after that. After discovering that Sean still had to determine where the bomb Troy planted before he was caught, he desperately tried to get the information from Troy’s brother (Troy was in a coma at the time). When he had no other choice, he accepted the offer made by the secret service to perform a “medically advanced” surgery that will allow him to have the face of Troy. He is sent to an unknown prison to fish out information from Troy’s brother (in the form of Troy). Little did he know that Troy had woken up from his coma and forced the doctor who did the surgery to apply Sean’s face to him. After that, the story continues in a rising action.

Each time I found a scene exciting, I felt like it was the climax of the movie. It just gets better and better, and the real “climax” of the movie didn’t disappoint. I found the whole face-switching idea ingenious! This movie will now set the bar for upcoming action flicks. I hope they don’t forget the actual story, because I will no longer excuse them after watching this movie.

GRADE: A-

 

External Ratings:

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% Fresh, 7.8/10 Rating

Internet Movie Database: 7.3/10 Rating

Metacritic: 82/100

 

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