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July 02, 1997 - Image 14

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-07-02

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'Face' sizzles onscreen

By Bryan Lark
Daily Arcs Writer
Nicolas Cage just might be the
coolest movie star working today. That
is, until John Travolta struts onto the
This one-upmanship of coolness
seems to be the underlying master plan
of John Woo's "Face/Off," in which
Travolta and Cage take turns exhibiting
the macho swagger, over-the-top acting
and endearing
eccentricities that
audiences have come
to embrace - but
with a twist.
You see, the actors
take turns exhibiting
each other's trade- A
mark quirks, since
this bombastic action spectacle calls for
Travolta and Cage to, in essence, play
the other actor to see who does it better.
And watching Travolta by way of
Cage and John Travolta in "The Nicolas
Cage Story" is the true fun of
"Face/Off," an otherwise run-of-the-
mill cat-and-mouse thriller with a sci-fi
John Woo brings his characteristical-
ly loud and destructive touch to the
story of FBI man Sean Archer
(Travolta) whose agony over the loss of
his young son is matched only by the
desire to capture the maniac who mur-
dered his boy.
Said maniac is Castor Troy (Cage).,
who is captured and made comatose by
Archer through a desperate chase early

t B1

in the film, leaving somewhere in LA
a chemical weapon that could level the
city and melt the plastic surgery off
anyone within a 10-mile radius.
Just when Archer and his wife Eve
(Joan Allen) think Sean is finished with
the wild life of a renegade cop, they
pull him back in, recruiting Sean to go
undercover as Troy to discover the
whereabouts of the bomb, courtesy of
exciting and grisly new surgical tech-
niques - Sean
is given Castor's
E V I E W face, voice and
Face/off body as the vil-
lain lies dormant.
*** "He's a turnip,"
says one tough
riarwood and Showcase FBI chick as she
puts out her ciga-
rette on Castor's arm.
Unfortunately for everyone involved
in this game of high-tech dress-up*
Castor wakes up and takes on Sean's
face and life, leaving Sean, looking like
a famed terrorist, to undo what he's
reluctantly done and save the city.
The action sequences take a backseat
to Travolta (as Cage) mocking his
"ridiculous chin;" drawling his speech;
and bugging his eyes, while Cage per-
fects the patented Travolta walk. As
engaging as they often are, the action
scenes are recycled from "Reservoir
Dogs," "Indiana Jones and The Last
Crusade" and Woo's own "The Killer."
All this borrowed chaos is effective,
See FACE/OFF, Page 15

I Gl~~f & Ualnbouw Green

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