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Con Air

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Con Air

Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich
Director: Simon West
Rated: R
RunTime: 115 Minutes
Release Date: June 1997
Genres: Action, Suspense

*Also starring: John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Colm Meaney, Rachel Ticotin, Mykelti Williamson, Danny Trejo, M.C. Gainey

Review by Walter Frith
3 stars out of 4


At first I thought 'Con Air' would be just another mindless action picture filled with explosions, shootings, brawls and just about everything including the kitchen sink but it has much more under the surface in its technique, style and execution. Although quite unbelievable at times it does use the theory of suspension of disbelief quite well and is a satisfying way to spend two hours in a movie theatre.

Nicolas Cage stars as a military soldier whose training makes him a lethal weapon and one night while defending his wife he killed a man in a drunken brawl and was sentenced to eight years in prison. The movie shows small scenes pieced together of his life in prison over the opening credits mostly and the movie then picks up upon his release from prison. He is to be transported by plane to his destination of freedom. Unfortunately for him the plane also contains some of the most dangerous, smartest and low life criminals in the United States. Their leader (John Malkovich) practically steals the show and the prisoners take control of the plane and the rest is pretty obvious.

'Con Air' is extremely slick and well paced and has appropriate humour from time to time. The criminals make the movie's colourful observations known to the audience and the three outstanding portraits aside from Malkovich come from Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi and Nicolas Cage whose character is a nice contrast and while he is a convicted criminal himself, he is the saving grace in making the predatory criminals see that they aren't as invincible as they think they are.

Cage is truly a gifted and smart performer whose risks in recent years in choosing quirky and off beat roles have paid off handsomely and the icing on the cake came with his Oscar win for Best Actor in 1995's 'Leaving Las Vegas'. 'Con Air' is the kind of action film with good character development and is not for the faint of heart but is for those who like their violent action mixed with a sense of style and exhilarating stunts.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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