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June 18, 1997 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-06-18

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12 - The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, June 18, 1997
Cage, Malkovich revitalize action
.;j' - genre in runaway hit 'Con Air'

po

By Julia Shih from its first moment and doesn't let
Daily Arts Writer up until the very end. Throughout the
Summer just heated up with the entire movie, an aura of danger perme-
release of the sizzling blockbuster, ates the air as Poe is surrounded by
"Con Air." If you thought last year's dozens of hardened criminals who
"The Rock" was good, get ready to be wouldn't think twice about massacre-
blown away by one of the biggest, bad- ing everyone on board. Audiences will
dest and most exhilarating thrillers to be captivated by the prisoners' brutal
hit the movie screen in a long time. takeover, and by Poe's efforts to save
This awesome movie brings together the lives of the innocent people on
an all-star ensemble cast under famed board while bringing the plane down.
producer Jerry The humorous
Bruckheimer aspects of "Con
("The Rock" and R E V I E W Air" also make it
"Top Gun"). . different from
Nicolas Cage, John COn Air your average
Malkovich, Ving (P *** blow- 'em-up
Rhames and Steve at showcase action thriller.
Buscemi duke it Many times, the
out with much at movie seems to be
stake aboard a large plane set for spoofing the other films of its genre. In
destruction. one scene, the plane comes crashing
Cage is Cameron Poe, a recent down on the Las Vegas strip, causing
parolee hitching a ride aboard a prison- enormous amounts of destruction,
er transport flight. After serving nearly much like the devastation in
a decade in prison for unintentionally "Independence Day." And perhaps the
killing a man while defending his wife, most hilarious scene in the movie
Poe is anxious to return home and see involves a great shot of a car tethered
his wife and daughter. to the back of the plane as it takes off.
But also aboard this plane are some Much like the flying cow in last sum-
of the most dangerous and notorious mer's hit, "Twister," the spectacle of the
criminals in the country. When Poe gracefully floating car trailing the
suddenly finds himself in the middle of plane looks so ridiculous that even
a mid-air skyjacking masterminded by Cage's character can't help quipping,
Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom "On any other day, that would seem
(Malkovich), he attempts to avert the strange."
takeover with help on the ground from Director Simon West worked closely
U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin (John with Bruckheimer and writer Scott
Cusack). Rosenberg to create some of the witti-
"Con Air" is filled with nonstop est dialogue to appear in an action
action and destruction that'll give you flick. The dialogue is a definite high-
one of the most thrilling rides of your light in this film, especially as spoken
life. About two-thirds of the movie by Cage, who is an expert at deadpan-
involves some form of blood splurting, ning hilarious lines. Only in scenes
bones breaking, buildings on fire or done with skill can a hero, during a
something large being spectacularly tense and suspenseful moment, seri-
blown up. All of the ultra-violent fight ously threaten a murderous bad guy
scenes and loud explosions will defi- with the line, "Put the bunny back in
nitely please action fans. the box."
The movie begins building suspense Nicolas Cage has established him-

self as a competent action star who
could give Schwarzenegger and Van
Damme a run for their money. He
brings his talent for comedic and dra-
matic acting to his role as an action
hero, making his character more than
one-dimensional. Steven Seagal shoo
take note.
John Cusack looks to be a welcomed
newcomer to this genre, after showing
his proficiency at shoot-out scenes in
"Grosse Pointe Blank." He plays the
intellectual hero who isn't afraid of
dodging bullets and getting dirty
amidst the explosions. Cusack's perfor-
mance is riveting and fun to watch, as
he charmingly threatens to. steal the
spotlight from Cage. Neverthele
Cusack and Cage make a good tet,
especially near the climax of the movie
when they ride off together like
Batman and Robin (minus the capes),
in pursuit of the bad guys.
Malkovich, as always, does an excel-
lent job playing the creepy villain, and
even Steve Buscemi can send chills
down your spine with a mere glance.
Ving Rhames, though labeled in the
movie as a mass-murdering vigila
is too pleasant in this film to be
effective antagonist.
Some aspects of "Con Air" seem
excessive or unnecessary, such as a few
of the explosions near the movie's con-
clusion, as well as the effeminate crim-
inal who spends most of the movie in a
dress and ends up getting bitch-slapped
by Poe. But overall, "Con Air" is a neat
little package that packs one hell of a
punch.
"Con Air" is not this year's "$
Rock." In fact, compared to this movie,
"The Rock" feels about as exciting as
watching a few hours of The Weather
Channel. The spectacular special
effects and talented set of actors in
"Con Air" make it one of the most
exhilarating and entertaining movies to
come out this summer. This is definite-
ly a film not to be missed.

Center for
EMSE
EDUAIO

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