In order to foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a facial transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a terrorist, but the plan turns from bad to worse when the same terrorist impersonates the FBI agent.
A loyal and dedicated Hong Kong inspector teams up with a reckless and loudmouthed LAPD detective to rescue the Chinese Consul's kidnapped daughter, while trying to arrest a dangerous crime lord along the way.
Sean Archer, a very tough, rugged FBI Agent, is still grieving for his dead son Michael. Archer believes that his son's killer is his sworn enemy and 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 Woo: [back to back banter] Sean vs. Castor with an obstacle between them throwing around a few comments before the "showdown." See more »
(at around 38 mins) At the Walsh Institute, after he gets the face transplant, Archer is told that the bomb is set to go off in 6 days; however, the subsequent shot of the bomb shows 216 hours (9 days) on its timer. See more »
John Woo knows, if anybody, how to make good, stylish action. And that's exactly what this film is; good, cool, stylish action. The plot is great; fairly psychological and quite interesting. It has a fast(and remarkably even) pace, I don't think more than 30 minutes passes at any point in the movie without a giant action scene. All in all, I'd guess there are about four or five major shootouts, and two chase scenes which are each several minutes long(without getting repetitive, fortunately). The acting is excellent; every single major part is well-played. John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Gina Gershon, Dominique Swain... all give great, entirely believable performances. The best are definitely Travolta and Cage, though; fantastic, truly stellar performances. The characters are all well-written and credible, right down to the most minor one. The action is cool and very stylish, in every single action-scene. The theme of the film is great; of course, the story is completely unlikely, with the face-switching and all, but once you get past that, once you suspend disbelief, you'll most likely enjoy the film thoroughly. The script is excellent, plenty of action, drama, and thriller parts. Also, you gotta love the sharp contrast 3/4's into the movie, with the kid listening to sugary pop-music, while people are shooting intensely at each other. Great film. I recommend it to any fan of John Woo, Nicholas Cage, John Travolta and action films. 8/10
139 of 196 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?