Monday, November 1, 2010

Con Air

I still don't really understand Nick Cage. He can be a really good actor when he wants to, but he seems to want to less and less these days. He'll pretty much be in any movie as long as he gets the lead role. Which is why he's here in Con Air, bulked up to hell and back and putting on one of the worst accents I've ever heard. Cage trying to sound southern is just... just an abomination of acting. For some reason though, it works with the rest of the movie. He's surrounded by colorful characters, and if the protagonist was taken too seriously, I don't think the film would be as enjoyable as it is. It's not perfect, but for what it is it works pretty well.

It's one of those slightly older big action movies that at least tries to have an interesting and clever plot - you know, something Hollywood doesn't really try anymore. So Cage is a military veteran who comes home from the service to his pregnant wife, only to kill a man while defending her that night. Because his training has made him a deadly weapon, they throw the book at him and give him 7-10 years for manslaughter. Way to support the troops, legal system. Anyway, at the end of his sentence, he is to be transported by plane to a location for release. Unfortunately there are a bunch of bad dudes on that plane and they manage to take it over, causing a hostage situation in the skies. The revolt is lead by an enjoyably evil John Malkovich, and he's got everyone from a black militant Ving Rhames to a serial rapist Danny Trejo helping him out. John Cusack is in charge of the plane on the ground and is trying to stop it, but he's antagonized at every turn by Colm Meaney as a DEA official pissed that one of his guys got killed, so it's more or less up to Cage to save the day while maintaining his cover as just another bad guy. Also, Steve Buscemi is a serial killer.

So there's a lot of menacing dialogue and somewhat interesting tricks to try to avoid the authorities, and some goofy one-liners from Cage as he sows discord and takes out anyone who might stop him. The plane itself is a major location, but there's also some fun to be had at an abandoned airfield and eventually in the middle of the Vegas strip. People shoot guns and beat each other up and things explode all pretty. There's quite a few holes in the script, but it's fairly solid for this kind of action movie, and it can certainly be a fun time if you don't take it too seriously. I still just don't understand how an Oscar winning actor could butcher an accent so completely. Or how it's wrong for a vet to defend his wife with deadly force but not to chase someone all around Las Vegas with murderous intent. Oh well. Pretty good.

No comments: