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Face/Off VHS VHS Widescreen DVD

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My roommate's girlfriend's cousin had a copy on tape.  Nothing on last nite, so I popped it in.  Boy, there was really nothing on.  My other roommate gave up less than halfway through.

John Woo movies are certainly full of excitement.  But the technology in his movies are 100% pure unadulterated plot devices.  Throw a coupla buzzwords in the pot, mix with plenty of layman misconception, and you've got a plot device, inconsistencies be damned

The whole premise of Face/Off is that you can perform plastic surgery in a few days (hokey quote: "with the new anti-inflamatories the swelling is gone in just a few days.") that produces a perfect replica of someone else's face and body.  To get rid of the scars they had what I call the Magic Laser.  Just shine it at the scar and it's gone.  What could be simpler?

Okay.  If you can get past that, what's the rest of the movie like?  More silliness.

At the very beginning of the movie we see one of Woo's trademark silly-bomb-with-the-large-LED-timer.  A whole collection of timers this time.   Another trademark is the heavy use of slow-mo.  Where Broken Arrow had a few slow-mo scenes, this movie seemed to be trying to use the effect to add minutes to reach some prearranged total.  Especially early on, there were several characters walking from one place to another in very-slow-mo.

The prison is incredibly silly.  (This is where Wench bailed.)  The prisoners wear heavy steel boots that can be used to lock them in place by a strong magnet in the floor.  This ignores the fact that the boots are quite a weapon that could be used on a guard that gets caught by surprise.  But again, they're just a plot device, used to make the guards complacent.  And to mark when Cage is supposed to make his escape attempt.  (They never did explain how Cage got back to shore.)

A coupla gunfights and one chase scene later, the good guy catches the bad guy.   He gets his face back, plus a replacement son.  The entire episode magically heals Travolta's disfunctional family.  Bonus.

On the bright side, Travolta did a fairly good job of capturing many of the Cagesque-manic-character mannerisms.  A couple of times I thought I caught Cage using Travolta's mannerisms, though it was harder to tell since the Archer character is much more subdued.

Interesting note:  I spotted two actors from Fargo.  Archer's superior played the rich father, Wade.  And the head guard was the husband of the policewoman, Norm.

Technology/medical gaffes:

My brother liked the movie.  My mom thought it was simply an excuse to have lots of explosions and gunshots.  One of my roommates didn't even make it halfway through.   For me, on my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, rates Cable.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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