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Face/Off (1997)

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In order to foil a terrorist 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.

Director:

John Woo
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Popularity
1,863 ( 230)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Sean Archer
Nicolas Cage ... Castor Troy
Joan Allen ... Eve Archer
Alessandro Nivola ... Pollux Troy
Gina Gershon ... Sasha Hassler
Dominique Swain ... Jamie Archer
Nick Cassavetes ... Dietrich Hassler
Harve Presnell ... Victor Lazarro
Colm Feore ... Dr. Malcolm Walsh
John Carroll Lynch ... Prison Guard Walton
CCH Pounder ... Hollis Miller
Robert Wisdom ... Tito Biondi
Margaret Cho ... Wanda
James Denton ... Buzz (as Jamie Denton)
Matt Ross ... Loomis
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Storyline

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 Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

27 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Face Off See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,387,530, 29 June 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$112,225,777, 2 November 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$128,000,000, 22 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby | SDDS (uncredited)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Travolta's fingers are bigger than Nicolas Cage's, so it was hard to get the wedding ring off but easy to slip on. See more »

Goofs

Never mind that their faces are taken off (and a fast recovery time, as well), but John Travolta is tall with broad shoulders, Nick Cage is short and thin - how did all this get changed? I know plastic surgery is possible, but these two men would need intensive plastic surgery and would need months or years to recover, not several hours. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Eve Archer: [at their son's grave site with Troy posing as Sean] Happy Birthday, Mikey. He took our baby, Sean. He took our little boy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Malaysian version all scenes that have reference to sexual topics are removed, e.g. Castor Troy touching the young choir singers behind in the beginning See more »


Soundtracks

Ach, ich fühl's
From 2nd act of opera "Die Zauberflöte"
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Hungarian Festival Chorus and Failoni Kamerazenekar (as Failoni Orchestra, Budapest)
Conducted by Michael Halász (uncredited)
Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, soprano
Courtesy of Naxos of America
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Corny. Crazy. Cool.
10 July 2003 | by Angry_ArguerSee all my reviews

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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