Directed By: John Woo
Written By: Mike Werb and Michael Colleary
When I was in my early teens this was probably one of the coolest movies I had ever seen. It didn’t seem so cheesy then, and fifteen years ago this idea seemed like maybe something we were close to achieving in the real world. It all seems a bit silly watching it now, but this movie does bring back fond memories for me, and it was intricate in my evolving love of action films.
The world was so different in 1997, yet still the same. It was an interesting time, but I can’t really remember the time period well enough to talk intelligently about it. I was 13 then, and that seems like a million years ago now. I do remember loving this movie though, and that it was a hit. In a year like 1997 this was a successful film. It didn’t matter how ridiculous some of the film is, it made a lot of money despite that. It might be ludicrous that every time these guys shoot at each other something explodes, and it might not be possible for Castor Troy to smoke a cigarette with no lips. These two guys might have serious and unprecedented operations that they are immediately healed from but none of that matters. All that matters is how cool everything in this movie is. At least consider how awesome it must have been to a thirteen year old in 1997 watching it. Castor Troy dressed as a priest and seducing a chorus girl is awesome, his two golden guns are awesome, above all else he is a cool and calculating villain and that is awesome too. I think Nicolas Cage‘s performance as Troy in the earlier part of the film was his best role of the “trilogy.” Cage made three action films in a row during this time with The Rock and Con Air coming out right before this one and the three films are known as Cage’s “action trilogy”. Cage has an interesting ability to deliver ground breaking performances in one film then turn around and make the stupidest wastes of time out there. This was fifteen years ago though, and all three of these action films were well received. Cage’s star was shining bright in 1997 and no matter how absurd some of his movies were people still paid to see them. I particularly like this one and The Rock, I did like Con Air for a time but grew to find it too cheesy. They were all cheesy, but the action made up for it, it was a time that only explosions mattered, before heavy duty CGI and excessive green screens.
Ah, and now to John Travolta. Who I happen to think was great in this film, and many others. I have always been a big fan and the news coming out this week has been quite the shocker. I’m not surprised despite my admiration of his films. If nothing else, Grease and Saturday Night Fever should have thrown up some red flags in the 70s right? Travolta is currently facing two lawsuits charging him with sexual misconduct against men. It has opened the flood gates apparently and similar stories are popping up everywhere. Travolta has been around forever and is actually known for having one of the more long lasting relationship in Hollywood with his wife Kelly Preston so these are really serious allegations. Personally, I don’t care if Travolta is gay, but sexual misconduct is what it is and I hope the allegations aren’t true. I think Travolta plays a great bad guy and obviously John Woo does too because he has used him in that capacity a couple of times, no pun intended. Travolta and Cage both have to play two different parts in this film and I think they both do a great job with the role reversal. Gina Gershon is also worth mentioning in one of the female leads. She is so smoking hot and never worked enough, she should have been cast in so many more roles.
John Woo directed this film and he was a really notable action director at the time. Although he has great vision and imagination when it comes to action, it is all so over-exaggerated and foolish. To give him some credit, he did a great appreciation for style and good monologues that he used in a fantastic way. Those proved to suffice during his heyday. John Woo’s movies might seem silly now but they meant a lot to me when I was younger. They were good fun mindless action movies to just sit back and enjoy when there was nothing better to do.
This movie is really really cheesy from beginning to end but it still has its merits and is still thought of favorably. I think this movie is worth your time, if nothing else let it take you back to a different time, a time before the world changed with the internet, terrorism, and the 24/7 news.
I find it really ironic that we are at this movie when John Travolta is under so much fire for sexual harassment. I don’t think I ever really saw this movie until I was out of college and caught it on television one day. I thought it seemed pretty cool and interesting. It’s not a movie that is like other movies. But, because we are snobs here, I have to say after watching it for the blog, I am thoroughly unimpressed. Everything seems implausible to me and makes me laugh. I’m sorry, but an action movie that makes me laugh during the serious scenes isn’t doing something right. This movie is cheesy at best and if you want to waste some time on it go ahead.
NEXT MOVIE: Fargo (1996)