In order 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 turns from bad to worse when the same criminal impersonates the cop.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Victor Lazarro
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Prison Guard Walton
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Hollis Miller
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Buzz (as Jamie Denton)
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Loomis
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Storyline

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 John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To destroy your enemy, you must find him, face him, and then... become him. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense sequences of strong violence, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face Off  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$23,387,530 (USA) (27 June 1997)

Gross:

$112,225,777 (USA) (31 October 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Greek mythology, Castor and Pollux (the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini) were the twin sons of Zeus by Leda. The brothers fought together in the Trojan War (which, of course, was fought in *Troy*). This is not their only connection to Troy, their mother Leda was also the mother of Helen of Troy. Of the Castor and Pollux of mythology, Pollux was immortal and Castor mortal. They were allowed to spend alternating days together between the underworld and Olympus because Zeus took pity on the pair and "gave" Castor half of Pollux's immortality because they could not take the separation of death. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 11 mins) Just before Dubov gets shot by Walton, we see Burke Hicks running up to Walton to try to stop him. A few minutes later when Dubov falls down and Walton tries to shoot Castor, Burke Hicks runs up to Walton again. See more »

Quotes

Castor Troy: I was thinking the other day, I remember I once took a date out for surf and turf, not knowing she was a vegetarian, so she ate bread and broke her tooth on a rice seed, we drove around all night, looking for an all night dentist, and he was so drunk he fixed the wrong tooth, when I finally brought her home, even though it must've hurt like hell, you kissed me
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Connections

Referenced in Sliders: California Reich (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Over The Rainbow
By Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
Courtesy of Olivia Newton-John
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Woo's US breakthrough: A triumph!
26 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

FACE/OFF

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound formats: Dolby Digital / DTS

This magnificent thriller represents director John Woo's triumphant return to the kind of hyperkinetic, emotionally charged film-making which made him such a hot property in the first place. Following the artistic bankruptcy of his first two Hollywood projects, this one is a marriage of high-octane movie-making and mind-twisting narrative complexities. It's also one of the few American action movies which manages to strike a balance between crowd-pleasing set-pieces and domestic interludes, and renders them equally important. John Travolta and Nicolas Cage are perfectly matched as hero/villain (and vice versa!), whilst heavyweight theatre actress Joan Allen provides the narrative with much of its dramatic backbone in the role of Travolta's wife (the scene in which she is first confronted with her husband in Cage's body is almost identical to a similar scene in Terence Fisher's FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED [1969]).

Technically, the film is a blast, and Woo stages the action highlights with a visual grace and dexterity that is often breathtaking to behold. The climactic speedboat battle is probably the finest set-piece of Woo's career to date, and the script is overflowing with visual and thematic ironies that underscore the action highlights. In fact, the production has arguably more dramatic resonance than any other Hollywood blockbuster of the 1990s, but the dictates of American commercialism mean that Woo is only able to skate over the emotional surface of his characters and their moral dilemmas. The two main protagonists are much too cold and heartless to fully engage the audience's sympathies, and there's nothing here that matches the scorching human drama of, say, BULLET IN THE HEAD (1990). But for all that, FACE/OFF dares to go deeper than your average Hollywood action picture. It's clever, witty and thrilling, and it manages to accomplish the difficult task of feeding the brain whilst entertaining the eye.


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Castor Troy, the ultimate liberal freedom fighter cavitycaulk
Most stupid film ever lamusicafue
The thing(s) that bothered me most... IamBustakap
One thing that always makes me laugh. shothrougheart
So Sean Archer win Time Magazine's Man of the Year? Seagalogist
THEY SHOULD TOTALLY MAKE A SEQUEL TO THIS!!! lalPOOO
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