If you're looking for the peak of John Woo's visual kinetics, you'll have to stick with his Hong Kong output. But "Face/Off" is still notable for pairing Woo with Nicolas Cage; rarely are a director and actor as in sync as the two are here. After viewing Woo's previous films like "Bullet in the Head," Cage knew he would be able to dial it way, way over the top for this role and Woo would make it work.
You really have not lived through the 90s without seeing this. If this were Verhoeven, it would be hailed as the standard action film satire of our time. Woo gets a little too sentimental and mawkish but he luckily found two of the most over-committing actors of the period to chew scenes to pieces- before blowing shit up, of course.
For those of you who can get your hands on the two-disc special edition, check out the uncut "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sequence in the deleted scenes. If you thought it was mesmerizing in the theatrical cut, you're in for a treat. The planned darker ending is great stuff too.
Not exactly a good movie, but man is some of the over-the-top stuff fun. Even more, though, what I'm left with is the queasy and truly odd sexual politics throughout--from the brother/sister thing to the father/daughter stuff, to the supposedly happy child-stealing ending, this is a truly bizarre film. Not a top five Nicolas Cage classic, but probably top ten.