Academy Award® Nominee
An FBI agent obsessed with the murder of his son trades faces with the boy's killer. View more >
intense sequences of strong violence, and for strong language
Starring John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen
Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.
Face/Off, (the most clever title this year since Chasing Amy) directed by veteran director John Woo, is a dynamic, unpredictable and very original blast of filmmaking. While this doesn't bow to Woo's masterpiece "The Killer", Face/Off is certainly his best American film so far.
I won't tell you the plot, but For 139 minutes, Face/Off throws you all over the map of action: it starts with a chase, continues with action, and throws a lot more of it at you. But what is great about it is Woo's trademark elements are all here, plus you get awesome performances by both JohnTravolta and Nicolas Cage, who play each other in the film. What an experience it was to see how they walked (Cage getting out of the car with his coat flyingback; Travolta swinging around in his office)! Besides all this cool action, Face/Off has a very good story that makes sense, while there is an entertaining factor of 10,000.
Face/Off is the best film of the summer, since it is the only one brave enough to captivate the audience as much as possible, instead of having a stupid storyand blowing things up with a budget of $120 million. (For the record, this one was about $75 million, but all of it was on the screen) Face/Off also trusts Travolta and Cage to give their best, and, amazingly, it trusts the audience as well. Grade: A
Now-a-days, going to the theatre means to prepare yourself to have your eyes and ear-drums assaulted by special-affects that blare across the screen and having the bass of the sound-track pound a migrane into your skull. Of course, while your senses are getting the pe-jeebies trashed out of it, your mind is ina comma because there is no real plot in most of today's action film to really become absorbed in.
Well, John Woo's "Face/Off" is probably one of the few films that have given me some hope that not all action movies are crap. From the first take ofthe movie, the viewer gets sucked right in. The movement of the music is what dictates and choregraphs the majority of the action scenes - which has very stunningresults both visually and emotionally. Here at last is an action film that you men out there with dates can take your sweethearts to without making her feelexcluded. It's a movie that both guys and gals can enjoy because it is not strictly about action, rather the movie also carries with it some deep emotionalundercurrents that are coupled with the action.
John Woo uses a lot of different techniques to convey both the contrasts and the relationship between violence and beauty. Instead of seperating the element of violence from reality and isloating it as the only reality in an action-film, "Face/Off" only uses the element of violence to unearth the potential of thehero to NOT be super-human, but to become much MORE human to us, the viewers.
I recommend it most highly!! The filming is unique and something to see. At the same time, I would like to add that because the strength of the filmrests on the strength of the acting abilities of its actors - I only have a minor reservation that there are parts of the movie that does not seemquite to flow as smoothly because of this. But this may have been because the roles that the actors had to play was very challenging and demanding -it ain't easy playing your character and then switching over to the enemy's character and still be convincing about it!! However, the performance of thefemale actors in the film was superb!
I have to admit, after seeing the last John Woo film with John Travolta in it, Broken Arrow, I wasn't all that interested in seeing Face/Off. However, I am a Nicolas Cage fan, and had heard good things about this movie, so I decided to give it a try.
<A HREF="http://us.imdb.com/M/person-exact?Travolta,+John">John Travolta</A> stars as Sean Archer, an FBI agent. <A HREF="http://us.imdb.com/M/person-exact?Cage,+Nicolas">Nicolas Cage</A> stars as Castor Troy, a master criminal. <A HREF="http://us.imdb.com/M/person-exact?Allen,+Joan">Joan Allen</A> plays Archer's wife, Eve, and <A HREF="http://us.imdb.com/M/person-exact?Gershon,+Gina">Gina Gershon</A> plays Troy's girlfriend, Sasha.
Archer and Troy are enemies going way back, each of them knows the others moves, thoughts, mannerisms, inside and out. When Archer needs to get some information out of one of Troy's buddies, he decides to masquerade as Troy in order to get closer to his buddy. This is where the title of the film gets its name from.
I thought that having Travolta and Cage imitate each other was going to be a complete waste of time. Instead, each did an excellent job at re-creating the others mannerisms, etc...
Many have said that John Woo makes violence look very poetic and fluid. I have to agree 100% with this, there was an incredible amount of violence in this picture, and none of it seemed out of place. Many of the scenes are done in slow motion and all seem perfectly choreographed. Very well done.
The movie is a long one, at just over 2:15, so make sure you hit the restrooms before hand, so you won't miss any of the action.
Copyright 1997 - Ron Higgins No unauthorized publication or distribution without the consent of Ron Higgins.
Oh! man this film is a sheer movie go-er's delight. U've got to face this one! Also Travolta is damn cool literally...he plays it dead cool.
WOW!!....talk about in your face action. "Face/Off" is this summer's most explosive action-packed film. I was surprised that the two stars could both perform well in action roles, but John Travolta and Nicholas Cage did a superb job. It was very amusing to watch each actor to play each other's character. Both do a good job as their counterparts at first, but they start to unravel within the other's world towards the end. Most of the action was so intense and fast paced that you just sit in your seat without blinking in a numbing stare at the screen. The audience,in the theatre I was at, felt a little uncomfortable during some of the violence that seemed sacriligious and I felt it was a little bit too much myself. However, let's face it... John Woo's past films have had the violence and religious overtones, but for the foriegn market, so why mess with formula success.
I think Face Off is one of the best movies of the summer. The action is outstanding, and it just keeps going. It never gets boring and has a wonderful story. The special effects during the operation and after are magnificent, but might scare little kids. If you're looking for a great movie this summer that is definately worth your money Face Off is a good choice.
It's nice to see such a creative movie, but the ending is increadible weak!
Great Concept, Great Acting, Great Choreography, Mediocre Ending.
I still believe this is a must see on the big screen. John Travolta and Nicholas Cage were excellent and believable in their roles. The movie lost a little bit for me at the end since it seemed to go on and on. I felt they could have ended the movie one chase sequence earlier and had a great movie, but John Woo was thinking, " I've got this really great idea for a chase scene, let's stick it in." He probably should have saved it for his next movie. This criticism aside, Face/Off is worth seeing, fun summer escapism.
The film begins at its very best: intriguing plot and action-packed. However, once Nicholas Cage and John Travolta begin to swtich roles, the film slowly loses its steam. I feel the show is 1/2 hour too long and with many unnecessary action scenes to the point you become numb to them (action scenes). Some of the scenes were done by doubles whom could be clearly seen as different from Cage and Travolta, so there's a feeling of "fakeness" during some of the shots.
Perhaps, I've been watching too many John Woo films (US and HK films), so the firing-double-pistols-while-leaping-into-the-air scenes, slow-motion shots, and the way the camera "caresses" the gun-totting actors have become stale.
Anyway, this is still a good movie--but could be better if the film was trimmed a bit especially scenes involving how Travolta and Cage adjust to their newly swapped identities.
Travolta and Cage display some of the best acting I've seen in a long time. Some of the parts are absolutely chilling. The writing in this movie is very clever. I would have given this movie an "!" if it had a better closing. Nevertheless, this movie is well worth the visit to the theater.
*** out of *****
Face/Off is essentially an art-house action film, one in which the scenes of gunplay and violence are lovingly filmed and the director John Woo, prefers a softer way of shooting the film as opposed to the slam bang styles of other recent action movies like Con Air and The Rock. The plot is truly original and interesting and there are certainly some very different scenes in this movie, especially with it's use of the song "Over the Rainbow" which has to be seen to be believed. John Travolta and Nicolas Cage are as usual, excellent in their roles. The face-swapping is a wild idea and the two have a field day in each others roles. Cage is much better as a psychopath though, Travolta is still just too much of a nice guy to be taken seriously. This film is still a truly original and extremely well made film. See it now!
You should definitely see this movie if you haven't yet! It is very good. John Travolta and Nick Cage are very hot.
By far John Woo's most clever film to date. Great acting, great premise, and very well choreographed action scenes. Travolta is great as Sean Archer veteran cop who is after his arch nemesis Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage) who is responsible for Archers son's death. Troy plants a doomsday device and goes into a coma. Archer has Troys face put on to his to infiltrate a prison and find the where abouts of the device. Troy comes out of coma and then things get complicated for Archer. Cage's and Woo's best film.
John Woo, "Face/Off" is an increidble action movie that pits John Travolta against Nicolas Cage. Travolta is the good guy, Cage is the bad guy. When Cage was captured, Travolta switched their faces to go underground. When Cage awakes, all bets are off. Lots of good action sequences in on of the best action pictures of the summer. Check out the supporting actress performances by Joan Allen and Gina Gershon.
Looking for more opinions?
Check out our Featured Movie Reviews for Face/Off.
Journal/Blog - The Marquee - Movie Links - News and Events - Now Showing - Reader Reviews
Customize - VIP Service
|The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a service of SVJ Designs LLC. All graphics, layout, and structure of this service (unless otherwise specified) are Copyright © 1995-2015, SVJ Designs. The BigScreen Cinema Guide is a trademark of SVJ Designs. All rights reserved.
'ACADEMY AWARDS®' and 'OSCAR®' are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.