Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
Cameron Poe, who is a highly decorated United States Army Ranger came to his home of Alabama to his wife, Tricia. only to run into a few drunken regulars at where Tricia works. Cameron unknowingly kills one of the drunks and was sent to a federal penitentiary for involuntary manslaughter for seven years. Then, Cameron became eligible for parole and can now go home to his wife and daughter, Casey. Unfortunately, Cameron has to share a prison airplane with some of the most dangerous criminals in the country, who somehow took control of the plane and are now planning to escape the country with the plane. Cameron has to find a way to stop them while playing along. Meanwhile, United States Marshal Vincent Larkin is trying to help Cameron get free and stop the criminals including, Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom. Written by
In the trailer for this movie, the flying scene where the 2 AH-1 Cobras escort Jailbird 1 during their landing in the Las Vegas strip included the dialog "Where are they going to land this thing?" spoken by one of the Cobra pilots, and the response by John Cusack's character: "How about the blackjack tables". Neither dialog was included in the final cut. See more »
In prison Poe reads aloud one of Casey's letters recounting her unhappy first day at school and why she doesn't want to go back. The vocabulary in her letter seems unusually advanced for a child who has barely started formal education, but it would only make sense that a child's letter to father in jail would have been written by her mother with the child's input. See more »
Officer at Leaving Ceremony:
Army Rangers have a proud history. Since the 1700s, Rangers have led the way in every major confrontation in which the United States has been involved. You men are a credit to that fine heritage, and I'm sorry to see you go. But you've served your country well, and you've displayed the ability to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete its mission, never leaving behind a fallen comrade no matter what the odds or the enemy. I thank you. America thanks you. And I wish you luck ...
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While not as clever or amusing as _The Rock_, which this was apparently an effort to surpass, it certainly delivers the pyrotechnics. Cage, as always, delivers the best performance he can, given the confines of the script, and his best _Raising Arizona_ drawl.
The film's beginning sets a hopeful tone, we see the honorable Cage unjustly imprisoned and preparing to return to his home and the child he has never seen. Meanwhile, the penal system is filling the transport plane which will take Cage to freedom with a cast of the worst criminal psychos behind bars. There is an odd parallel to the beginning of _Stagecoach_ as the plane is loaded with the case of miscreants and a cursory description is given of each criminal. The film has a weakness for hyperbole, each character introduction, each scene, each explosion is meant to top the one before it.
Fortunately, the film does have a real ensemble cast, the full roster of villainous character actors: Malkovich, Rhames, Buscemi, Danny Trejo amongst the cons. The law is Cusack and Colm Meaney and Rachel Ticotin (Total Recall). Even Dave Chapelle is amongst the crooks.
Ultimately, the film maintains too straight a face during the ruckus. If you are going to ask the audience to accept one outrageous improbability after another, you need to keep it amusing. Chappelle keeps it funny while he's on screen but it's not long enough.
Unfortunately, the throttle has only one speed: pedal to the metal. Unlike Woo or McTiernan, who--predictable as they may arguably be--are able to build crescendos and know when to let off the gas, this one keeps on pushing harder and harder until we're feeling a bit catatonic. There is just a terrific amount of pyrotechnics and they use up twice as much powder each time. It never seems to end, which is usually a bad thing for an action movie.
But I shouldn't grouse too much. It is definitely an entertaining diversion, and Cage and Cusack are good in their roles, Colm Meaney is as always amusing. Malkovich and Buscemi are creepy enough but not the flamboyant psychos they could have been. Ironically, Cage has exactly that type of charisma (remember _Kiss of Death_, _Snake Eyes_, _Face Off_) but is forced to be restrain himself as the stolid ex-Army ranger.
Finally: what the HECK does bruckheimer have against Corvettes???
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