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.
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
The portable video game system that Dean's son uses, and in which "the disc" won't work, is an NEC Turbo Express. It was a GameBoy competitor albeit with the ability to play TurboGrafx-16 games on a color screen. By the time this film premiered, it had faded into relative obscurity, making it the perfect piece of tech. See more »
At the end of the film when Dean sits down and switches on the TV he sees himself from a camera in the smoke detector but when he looks at the TV, the angle of the camera is positioned from the TV as he is looking straight forward. 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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