Face/Off (1997)

Outlandish, ridiculous and at times stupid but completely brilliant.

The film follows John Travolta as he chases down criminal boss Nicholas Cage. Once Cage is captured and in a coma. They surgically remove Cage’s face and put it on to John Travolta’s character. Making John Travolta Nicholas Cage but once Cage awakens from his coma Nicholas Cage then becomes John Travolta.

So the plot itself despite how radical it is, works, surprisingly. I mean, John Travolta plays the creepy bad guy better than he plays the loving good guy and Nicholas Cage is just good at crazy (that is a point that could be argued).

I mean this is one of the better films John Woo has done, despite being full to the brim with John Woo cliches like the infinite amounts of ammo each gun has, the dismal aim each character has with their weapons, the diving through the air, which kinda looses its cool after the twelfth dive and the constant slow-mo, the film could of probably been cut by about half an hour if the whole thing was filmed at the same speed.

At times though it does try and be a little deeper than, I think it needs to be, like a 5 year old boy listening to “somewhere over the rainbow” is nice and adds a little more to the scene than just bullets but isn’t overly necessary and the whole back story of John Travolta’s son, does add that standard revenge motive but it just seems to weigh the film down a little; being mentioned every five minutes, isn’t the fact that they’ve swamped face’s enough?

And the face stroking? I just don’t get that, the final scene is just lets stroke the heck out of each others faces!

But all in all this is a fairly spectacular action thriller, and definitely one of the higher points in John Woo’s catalog.


Utterly ridiculous but classic John Woo in the best of ways. Unstoppable Action Crazy.

Best Line in the Film: “There’s a disturbance in the population! Lock em down!”   – Who talks like that?


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