Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘FACE/OFF – Whee! What a Predicament!’
Face/Off is bonkers. Plain and simple. It is two actors—in the relative prime of their careers—making the zaniest choices imaginable, and having a damn good time doing it.
For that reason—despite how dated its script and characters feel—it remains a tremendous watch. It’s a literal game of actor’s oneupmanship. Both Travolta and Cage, playing the same character, relish the freedom of Castor Troy. He has no rules; there are no shackles when they are in that space.
It also doesn’t hurt that John Woo, the movie’s director, knows how to cut an incredible action scene. And he does so in Face/Off with regularity.
Woo’s style, like the acting, is over the top in all the right ways. There’s no shortage of jumping, spinning, slow-motion doves, and explosions. Is any of it realistic? Not in the slightest. But it is a hallmark of why he became one of Asia’s most celebrated action auteurs.
Thus, combining Woo’s bullet ballet with Cage and Travolta’s hammy performances was a stroke of cinematic genius. Critics and audiences agreed. A rarity for this show, Face/Off was a legitimate hit. It raked in $245.7 million on a budget of just $80 million; and it received glowing praise—92% on Rotten Tomatoes with 86 reviews.
That marriage, as insane and silly as it can come across, will never not be entertaining. So sit back, pour each of your personalities a Two Hearted IPA from Bell’s Brewing, and strap on your magnetic super boots! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla, are fighting our way through an absurd amount of indoor birds to take down a notorious criminal!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction/Plot Breakdown – With little regard for human life or reloading, we dive head first into the anarchy of this film. (00:00)
- Cage, Travolta, or Wizard, You Made that Shit Up – I challenge Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and Mrs. McCheese to identify which one of these legendary actors starred in the referenced obscure b-movie. (1:12:41)
- Recommendations – Hang in there, folks. And staying safe is easy with these recommendations. Next up on Summer Rage with Nicolas Cage: Vampire’s Kiss! (1:19:40)