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.
Mega movie. Cage is at the height of his powers here. Travolta gets into it a little bit, too, particular when he tries to be Nicolas Cage. Nobody else can be Cage, but the results are wonderful nonetheless. One of my favorite action films.
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.
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.
Am I the only one who gets the impression this was a parody? The first bit was obviously riffing off of the state of American action cinema but then it seems to switch gears and take shots at his own style. It's either that or he just went nuts with enthusiasm after Hollywood finally took the leash off.
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.