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.
Robert Dean is a mild-mannered lawyer who works in Washington D.C. He is on the trail of a kingpin named Pintero. Meanwhile, a politician named Thomas Reynolds is negotiating with Congressman Phillip Hammersley about a new surveillance system with satellites. But, Hammersley declines; Reynolds has Hammersley killed, but the murder is caught on tape, and the taper is chased by Reynolds' team of NSA agents. The guy must ditch the tape, so he plants it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean). Then, the NSA decides to get into Dean's life. That is when Dean's life began to fall apart all around him, with his wife and job both gone. Dean wants to find out what is going on. Then, he meets a man named "Brill" who tells him that Dean has something that the government wants. Dean and Brill formulate a plan to get Dean's life back and turn the tables on Reynolds. Written by
When Dean sees the article in the paper indicating that he's being investigated by the FBI, he says "They have NO Sullivan protection for this." He's referring to the Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan, which set the standard for defamation cases brought against media companies. See more »
In the lingerie shop, the blonde that is grilling Robert on his wife's vital statistics has her bangs alternating between tucked over her ear and hanging down over her face between shots. See more »
Why? Well for starters there is the best chase sequence since The French Connection. Then there is Will Smith as an actor - not just a star, though later in the movie he is admittedly overshadowed by veteran Gene Hackman.
There are two layers to this movie: On the surface is a pacy thriller with edge-of-the-seat chases but underneath lies a telling commentary on government surveillance. It is one of those truth-in-fiction stories which makes its point about government intrusion into privacy dramatically and effectively.
There are references to the classic, The Conversation: The surveilled couple talking in the park, and the Hackman character's premises are an obvious recreation of his workshop in the earlier movie. If you haven't yet seen The Conversation - see it before you see this one - you will understand the Hackman character a lot better (besides, it is a superb movie in its own right).
Oh, and Jon Voight is terrific as the bad guy...
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