As an action thriller, John Woo’s “Face/Off” (1997) is wholesome entertainment with an amazing thrill ride. Even though predictable most often, this 1997-released Face/Off starring Nicolas Cage (as Castor Troy) and John Travolta (as Sean Archer) is engaging and creative.
Isn’t it interesting to watch two accomplished actors playing dual hero and dual villain characters? The plot may not make much sense but the role reversal as the story unfolds is praiseworthy.
Two of the big movie stars were playing each other with ace and if you check scene by scene, it would really be difficult for anyone to point out flaws in this role reversal. You will realize that the “other” character is actually playing it.
Director John Woo very wisely painted both the characters, especially the one of Nicolas Cage a bit exuberant, flamboyant, and over-the-top to make it different from the other and that helped both the actors to play a self-parody. Other than the awesome action sequences, the performance by both Cage and Travolta are simply amazing.
Face/Off is a must-watch indeed… but not recommended for children because of excessive graphic violence.
Directed by: John Woo.
Cast: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Gina Gershon, Dominique Swain, Nick Cassavetes, Harve Presnell, Colm Feore.
Release Date: June 27, 1997
FBI Special Agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tries to find a biological weapon placed in Los Angeles by a sadistic terrorist-for-hire and criminal mastermind named Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage). Archer has hunted Troy for the last 8 years, and is consumed by revenge because Troy is responsible for the death of Archer’s son. To do this, Archer must “borrow” Troy’s face using a surgical procedure to go undercover as Troy, but things go wrong when Troy assumes the identity of Archer.