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Face/Off (1997)

 -  Action | Crime | Sci-Fi  -  27 June 1997 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 231,862 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 514 user | 157 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Title: Face/Off (1997)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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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

Plot Keywords:

face | terrorist | bomb | revenge | criminal | See more »

Taglines:

In order to trap him, he must become him. [DVD] See more »


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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Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face Off  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£26,092 (UK) (2 January 1998)

Gross:

£6,163,073 (UK) (2 January 1998)
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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

Originally Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were in mind to play the lead roles, but when John Woo was brought in to direct, he decided that John Travolta and Nicolas Cage would be more suited to the roles. See more »

Goofs

When Castor Troy is captured at the beginning of the movie, he is clearly in possession of his famous twin 1911 gold-plated gun, yet later, when Archer goes to Dietrich's apartment, Dietrich gives him the same guns. See more »

Quotes

Burke Hicks: Don't you remember the little people?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shameful Sequels: Jurassic Park III (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Miserere
By Gregorio Allegri
Performed by Choir of Westminster Abbey under the direction of Simon Preston
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft mbH, Hamburg
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Preposterous fun – big, loud and exciting with a master at the helm
8 February 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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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Hottest chick in the movie? bunnies5-1
Arnold and Sly instead of Travolta and Cage tueher86
15 years later, still worst big budget movie I have seen jalenxa8
That weird face-brushing gesture BoxOfficePoison
The thing(s) that bothered me most... IamBustakap
I would have NEVER guessed that was Thomas Jane bunnies5-1
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