"Oh God, this is excellent. Bravo. Bra-fucking-vo."
Face/Off is a fantastic film helmed by Asian director John Woo. It features the versatility and talent of two actors, John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, as they portray two characters: Sean Archer and Castor Troy. It was a thrill to see them switch from one character to another, and they did it with such ease that they really made the identity switch believable. It was also a thrill to see Thomas Jane, Beethoven alum Danny Masterson, and Lolita star (she was in this film after starring in Kubrick's famous and controversial film the previous year) Dominique Swain in the film. Sean Archer's son was killed many years ago by terrorist Castor Troy, and Archer has never stopped hunting Troy and his younger brother, Pollux (Nivola). During a stakeout at the airport, Archer finally gets his chance to nail Troy, and with Troy in a coma and his younger brother in jail, Archer readies himself to settle back into a normal life and repair the damage his son's death caused on him and his family, from his wife, Eve (Allen), and daughter, Jamie (Swain). However, he learns that the Troy brothers have planted a bomb somewhere in L.A., and with Castor out of commission, the only person who knows the location of the bomb is Pollux. The only way for Pollux to open up is by talking to his brother. So on a wild scheme, Sean becomes the man he hates most in the world, taking on Castor's face and identity, and is shipped off to the same jail where Pollux is. Unfortunately, Castor wakes up from his coma, assumes Archer's identity, and sets the entire movie in motion. I watched this movie again and I simply loved it. Okay, so maybe I'm older and more attuned to the things needed to make a good movie, and THIS certainly carried all of the things needed for a good gunfest. But it did more than that; it showcased the talents of Travolta and Cage, as they were both tasked to play a really cunning and out-of-this world terrorist, Castor Troy.
Favorite Scenes in the Film:
1. Castor Troy's arrival in the airport
- Must have been the way Troy's coat flew with the breeze as he stepped out of the car, but dayyyum, that was probably the best entrance by a villain I've seen. Classy, with more than a hint of devilishness.
2. The entire gunfight in Dietrich's house
- From start to finish, I enjoyed every millisecond of it. Nothing was done
over the top. A constant thrill ride.
3. The fight after Victor Lazarro's funeral rites.
- Again, not done over the top, and you could see Cage and Travolta living up to their parts as Archer and Troy, respectively.
4. The revelation of Castor Troy's son, Adam
- The way Sasha (Gershon) said it was so natural, but it definitely had an impact.
"Troy": These are nice clothes.
Sasha: Of course, they're yours.
"Troy": Yeah, um, that's why I like them. *looks at Adam* He's a nice looking kid too.
Sasha: Of course. He's yours too.
No matter how many times I saw this film, I haven't gotten tired of it. In my case, this movie wasn't a rip/off.