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.
Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed.
Sean Archer, a very tough, rugged FBI Agent. Who is still grieving for his dead son Michael. Archer believes that his son's killer is his sworn enemy, a very powerful criminal, Castor Troy. One day, Archer has finally cornered Castor, however, their fight has knocked out Troy cold. As Archer finally breathes easy over the capture of his enemy, he finds out that Troy has planted a bomb that will destroy the entire city of Los Angeles and all of its inhabitants. Unfortunately the only other person who knows its location is Castor's brother Pollux, and he refuses to talk. The solution, a special operation doctor that can cut off people's faces, and can place a person's face onto another person. Archer undergoes one of those surgeries to talk to Pollux. However, Castor Troy somehow regains consciousness and now wants revenge on Archer for taking his face. Not only is Troy ruining Archer's mission, but his personal life as well. Archer must stop Troy again. This time, it's personal. Written by
[back to back banter]
Sean vs. Castor with an obstacle between them throwing around a few comments before the "showdown." See more »
When Archer (as Troy) is fighting with Dubov in prison, he hits him several times with the metal tray. Before Archer hits Dubov, he is hitting him like a left-handed baseball player, but after impact the camera switches angles and he continues through the hit as a right-handed baseball player. See more »
[Troy and Archer see each other for the first time with each other's faces]
OOOEEEE, you're good lookin'! You're hot!
[cocks his head]
It's like looking in a mirror, only not.
Now that is between us. OK?
But you were, were, uh...
In a coma? Nothing like having your face cut off to disturb your sleep! Read the newspaper lately?
[shows him a newspaper article headlined "Deadly Inferno at Walsh Institute"]
You killed them?
[...] See more »
By Adrian Thaws, Douglas L. Davis & Richard M. Walters
Performed by Tricky
Courtesy of Island Records Limited
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
Contains sample of "La Di Da Di"
By Douglas L. Davis & Richard M. Walters
Performed by Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew
Courtesy of Danya Records Ltd. See more »
Preposterous fun big, loud and exciting with a master at the helm
Sean Archer is the head of a special unit set up to hunt down master criminal Caster Troy. In an airport shootout Archer puts Troy in a coma and captures his brother Pollux. Archer then discovers that Troy has planted a bomb in LA, yet Pollux refuses to reveal where it is. With time running out Archer is offered a terrible option - to switch faces with Troy and have surgery to alter his body shape. After the surgery Archer goes undercover in prison to learn the location of the bomb. However when in prison, Troy awakes from his coma, forces the doctors to give him Archer's face, kills everyone who knows about the mission and assumes Archer's life. Trapped in prison, Archer is forced to escape from prison and join with Troy's gang to expose Troy - mayhem ensues.
This was Woo's third American film and it was the one he finally struck gold with. The story is simply daft - don't try to pick holes in it because it's far too easy to do. What makes the film is that the plot is glossed over by sheer spectacle and great action - you barely have a moment to catch your breath, never mind pick holes in the plot. The action is fantastic throughout - plenty of trademark slow-mo, diving with two guns etc and all given such style. In his other US films it all felt like Woo-lite, however here he is allowed to do just what he wants. OK - the plot may not stand up in repeated viewing, but the action is superb!
Travolta and Cage both have great fun playing each other - they mange to swap roles really well. Travolta has the most fun as he gets to ham it up as Troy for most of the time, but Cage has the better role as he plays the `good guy' for most of it. Allen and Gershon are both good as the protagonist's partners but have little to do in this man's world. Really it's all about Cage and Travolta and Woo - nobody else really matters.
Overall this may not be a great film due to the weakness of it's plot, but it is still a superb action movie. Most action movies have poor plots - but not all can provide the huge amount of action and fun that Face/Off does. Fantastic!
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