To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance 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 »
During the car chase, Mason runs the Hummer into a telephone pole, knocking it over. Subsequently, two of the FBI chase vehicles flip over (one tries to cut his wheel too hard to avoid it and the other runs into a parked car). The driver of both cars is the same man. 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 movie is all a man could hope for in a movie these days. Action packed, but followed with a meaningful story that relates to today. The harsh reality is, what takes place within the movie is not too far off from what could happen in reality. I feel that if anyone fears domestic terrorism as well as foreign terrorism, this movie is a must see, while it bends the facts a tad for action and interest sake, its central story is compelling and thought-provoking.
The best quote of this movie: "This isn't about terrorism, this about justice. It's about reminding you people of something you find politically convenient to forget."
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