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
The scene of Adam listening to "Over the Rainbow" on his portable headphones was John Woo's idea and not part of the original script. Touchstone Pictures refused to finance the extra scene and John Woo had to use his own money to make that happen. He was later paid back as the film turned out to be profitable. (A similar scene can be seen in Woo's Hard Boiled (1992)) See more »
Obvious stunt double when Castor Troy is thrown against the fence (and knocked out) when he is thrown behind the jet engine during the airplane hangar sequence during the beginning of the movie. See more »
[as Castor Troy]
This is between us. Leave them out of it.
[as Sean Archer]
No. You should have left them out of it. Your son was an accident. I wanted to kill you. But, you took it too personally. Why couldn't you just kill yourself or let it go?
[as Castor Troy]
No father could.
[as Sean Archer]
No brother could either.
Neither could a sister.
See more »
Face/Off is amazing because it mixes an outrageously cornball plot with some of the best acting in an action movie. How John Woo pulled it off is beyond me. His visual imagery is flamboyant and decorative, yet never fails to deliver the goods. There is always a flurry of images to grasp our attention. Granted, his typical trademarks are here, but never does the script suffer from the same problems as in his other works.
Nicolas Cage and John Travolta are phenomenal in their dual roles each. The rest of the cast isn't very deep and is more filler than anything else. The editing job feels underdone, particularly when the action sequences get to the "overcooked" staged. Still, how many speedboat chases or airplane crashes are you going to see in a slow-motion?
Overall, a summer action movie that delivers in acting, directing, and most other departments. 4 out of 5 stars.
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