To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity of a ruthless terrorist. But the plan backfires when the same criminal impersonates the cop with the same method.
Stanley Goodspeed, who lives in Washington D.C., is a biochemist who works for the FBI. Soon after his fiancée Carla Pestalozzi announces that she is pregnant, Stanley gets a call from FBI director James Womack. Womack tells Stanley that San Francisco's Alcatraz Island has been taken hostage, along with 81 tourists, by marine General Francis Xavier Hummel who, for years, has been protesting the government's refusal to pay benefits to families of war veterans who died during covert military operations. The death of his wife Barbara Hummel on March 9, 1995 drove General Hummel over the edge, and now he's holding hostages in order to get his point across. Stanley is needed because General Hummel has stolen some VX gas warheads and has announced that he will launch them onto San Francisco unless his demands are met. Stanley knows how to disarm the bombs, but Stanley needs someone who knows Alcatraz well enough to get him inside. That man is former British intelligence agent John Patrick ... Written by
Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the Mason role, but at the time the script was only 80 pages "with a lot of handwriting and scribbles and it didn't seem fully baked". In a Reddit AMA, he stated he regrets not taking the role. Years later, however, he still got to play a part as a convict with a mysterious past in Escape Plan (2013). See more »
Towards the end of the film the configuration of the Colt Commando CAR-15 rifles change. For instance, when Mason gives Goodspeed the CAR-15 from the guard he killed, it has an A2 upper receiver (shell deflector, A2 windage sight knob) and an SP1 lower receiver (no fencing around the magazine release). Later when watching the rocket launch, Goodspeed's CAR-5 switches to an all around A1-style gun with no shell deflector and older style sights. The lower receiver also has magazine fencing at this point. The same also happens with the other Marines' guns. See more »
Congressman Weaver and esteemed members of the Special Armed Services Committee, I come before you to protest a grave injustice... It has to stop.
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This is a brilliantly original movie that sees a USMC General out to get justice for the betrayal of fellow soldiers during various conflicts. Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris are all on top-form in their roles as an SAS former convict (Connery), an easy-going government chemical weapons expert (Cage) and a disgruntled war hero (Harris). The bulk of the movie takes place on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, where Ed Harris' character has stolen poison gas rockets and is holding the city to ransom. Michael Bay delivers brilliant action sequences with massive enthusiasm, resulting in high-octane scenes. The movie also bosts a powerful and emotional score right from the opening credits. The movie never gets boring or confusing and is dazzling all the way to the final, explosive climax. This is a movie best suited to die hard action fans due to it's loud, over-the-top style. Michael Bay proves to be one of the best action film directors with this movie which is one of the best of 1996.
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