Quick Hit: A movie that doesn’t really strive to be any more than it is – dumb popcorn fare.
Does anything really say the 1990s as a decade more than Nicholas Cage? This was the man that was almost cast in a new Superman movie during that decade (who baby – pretty good documentary on that subject if you’re interested), and had exploded onto the scene with his action movie prowess and ability to act both terribly and well in the same movie (sometimes in the same scenes). So it fit the bill when Shannon added it to the list of movies for 90s week.
And it’s pretty much what I remember it being – essentially Convicts on a Plane, with John Cusack shouting, and Nicholas Cage as a bumpkin with Jesus locks.
God I wish that could show up on the next DVD cover.
Make no mistake – I give the movie a little bit of credit for not being afraid to be what it is. There are explosions, that some miraculously walk away with burnt t-shirts, while others possibly farther away wither and burn. There’s a crash on the Las Vegas strip, a fancy car hanging out the back of a plane, and shoot-outs galore. And through it all there’s Cage, playing it dead straight as a man wrongly convicted of a crime that never should have been. It’s sweet and all – but man it would have been better to see Cage show a bit more life – his most worth-while scene is in the grand finale, but you have to wait a long time to get there.
There are some worthwhile character actors hidden in this though. John Malkovich is Cyrus “The Virus”, who says he’s killed more people than cancer. He plays his typical intelligent psychopath here, and has enough throwaway lines here to be amusing. Steve Buscemi (to be seen again soon in another 90s week movie) has a turn at Garland 'The Marietta Mangler' Greene. Transported in a similar way to another famous nineties killer, Hannibal Lecter, he turns out to be similar but different. Sparkingly intelligent, Buscemi is obviously insane, but has a soft-spoken, likeable quality about him… even when he’s saying he wore one of his victims as a hat. There’s a really uncomfortable scene with him and a little girl that nearly turns the whole thing sour, but it wisely turns away.
Hey – there’s also some cool, if impractical explosions, and Nick Cage taking a bullet and not even flinching before punching out a dude. So, it’s a 90s film for sure. Despite the occasional entertainment, I’m giving it a “D+”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"