Nicolas Cage has been gracing us with his presence for the past 40 years and it seems like he has no intent on slowing down. Through all the highs and lows of this man’s career, there is no denying that Cage loves to act. He seems to just give his all in every single performance whether it’s an Oscar film or a bargain bin selection. Every November, I like to sit back and watch a bunch of Nicolas Cage movies. Whether it is revisiting old classics or discovering hidden gems, we are in for a good time.
Face/Off is a 1997 action film directed by John Woo, starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. I haven’t seen this one in a while but remember enjoying it. After rewatching it, I can honestly say it’s a bizarre amount of fun.
FBI agent Sean Archer(John Travolta) has been chasing Castor Troy(Nicolas Cage), a terrorist who was responsible for the death of his son. After Castor ends up in a coma, Sean discovers a bomb about to go off and kill a ton of people and only Castor and his crew know the location. So, obviously, the answer is to do a surgical procedure to switch faces so Sean can get information on the bomb. After Castor wakes up though, all hell breaks loose.
The movie starts off as if we are getting a dire film. We see Castor accidentally taking the life of Sean’s son and the effect it has on Castor. You can tell that even though he is a villain he never meant to harm an innocent child. Will we get to see Castor struggle with this throughout the movie? Nope! From here on out, we just get an unhinged Nicolas Cage and a rather insane plot.
I am not a doctor or a scientist but I’m pretty sure you can’t just switch people’s faces. They also switch their body types and even have a way to make them sound like each other. Logic and meaning don’t really matter though due to how fun and entertaining this movie is.
Nicolas Cage as a villain is fun to watch. He is singing and making strange faces. He pretends to be a priest at one point and throws a woman out of a plane at another. He never seems like a terrorist to me. More like a comic book villain but no complaints there.
Director John Woo does great with the action and set pieces throughout the movie. You feel the adrenaline of every explosion and every chase scene. We also get suspenseful moments as our two main characters try not to blow their cover while infiltrating each other’s lives.
I have to give a lot of credit to John Travolta as well because it can’t be easy to basically play Nicolas Cage but he does a great job with his mannerisms and random outbursts. Face/off is one of the most entertaining films of the 90s and easily one of Nicolas Cage’s most memorable performances. There is news of a sequel happening with the original cast returning and man oh man I hope it’s as wild as the first movie.
Some of Nicolas Cage’s best lines in Face/Off include:
“I can eat a peach for hours”
“Try terrorism-for-hire. We’ll blow some s**t up! It’s more fun”
“HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH”, Cage shouts while dressed like a priest.