movie film review | chris tookey

Face/ Off

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  Face/ Off Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.60 /10
Sean Archer ............ John Travolta , Castor Troy ............ Nicolas Cage , Eve Archer ............. Joan Allen
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Directed by: John Woo
Written by: Mike Werb and Michael Colleary

Released: 1997
Origin: US
Length: 140

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"So full of smash and scream, fire and blood, anger and tumult that it frequently lapses into incomprehensibility. Its characters and plot threads, like those of The Fifth Element, Con Air, Speed 2 and the other violent action movies of this summer, are insultingly inconsistent, as if narrative were a pointless yet unavoidable obstruction to the mayhem. These films are aimed at young, impatient males who want to see tough guys at war. And, indeed, they get sequence after sequence of big men vaulting through flames, firing rocket launchers and lobbing grenades at each other. As for the tough guys themselves, they are so intent upon testing one another's virility that they don't have time for anything else, not even sex. Filmmakers have found a more seductive cinematic formula: The movie that is all climax. The ads for action movies often describe them as "thrill rides," and that is exactly what they are, dizzying experiences virtually devoid of genuine emotional or intellectual content. They are so loud and fast, the viewer cannot process their information in several sittings, let alone one. Like a roller coaster, they titillate and exhaust just enough to make their customers eager to get fight back on again. Recognizing this eagerness, action producers have discovered a way to make emptiness lucrative."
(Raphael Shargel, New Leader)
"Rubs our noses in acts of terrible degradation often casually committed, such as the moment when a cop puts out his cigarette on castor Troy's comatose body. (I wasn't sure whether we were supposed to be disgusted or thrilled.) It's not enough to argue that because the climactic shoot-out features a flock of white doves Woo is involved in a solemn study of good and evil. Celine Dion uses doves in her videos but nobody compares her to an artist of the Italian Renaissance."
(Quentin Curtis, Daily Telegraph)

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