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Film Review - Con Air
I've often said that you can enjoy almost any movie if your expectations are set properly before you see it. Con Air is a film I didn't expect much from. Its producer, Jerry Bruckheimer (Bad Boys, Crimson Tide, Dangerous Minds, The Ref, Days of Thunder, Top Gun), is one of the best action film creators. But his products rarely scratch the surface of basic human motivations. Con Air is a film in this vein, and that's nothing I'm going to knock. The best thing about Con Air is it was exactly what I was expecting.
The premise is simple, and the facts are ignored. A cargo plane full of convicts is being moved across the country. One con is Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage), who is being paroled. Poe, an honorably discharged Army Ranger, decides to stay on the plane even when escape possibilities present themselves because another convict is in need of medication and a female guard is in danger of being raped by one of the more twisted captors.
OK, the first thing you are struck with is the ease at which the convicts took over the plane, but that just needs to be set aside. If you won't accept this, you won't be able to enjoy the film. The next thing that will disturb you is what a bunch of buffoons the U.S. authorities are. John Cusack is the marshal with a brain and Com Meaney is the DEA agent who thinks with his testicles. We saw this in The Rock, another Bruckheimer production where the U.S. Marines couldn't hit their targets. Again, you have to let this go.
Con Air is bubblegum. It's simplistic action, with a hero who puts honor above himself. Cage is staking a new claim in Hollywood with this film. He clearly can play the action hero a la Willis, Cruise or Schwarzenegger. If you are looking for some mindless summer action without a big message, Con Air might fit the bill.
Directed by Simon West
Released in 1997
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo