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Overall Rating
4.15

Awesome58.72%
Worth A Look: 16.28%
Average: 12.21%
Pretty Bad: 6.98%
Total Crap: 5.81%

9 reviews, 118 user ratings


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Face/Off
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by Slyder

"One Of The Best Si-Fi/Action Flicks"
5 stars

You guys know absolutely well what can hype do to you. It sticks in to your mind and never lets you go. Fortunately, it made me watch this movie, and I was totally blown off since I have never seen an action flick like this. Its so compelling an intriguing that it just makes you rewind the tape and see it again. Director John Woo (Broken Arrow) finally hits it big with this masterful film, which I thought it was impressive, bravo Señor Woo. Sure It's got John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, but they deliver too, so what the fuck?

The twist starts also in an odd and chilling way. Sean Archer (Travolta), whose an FBI agent, has always been on the chase for elusive terrorist Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage), but one day while Archer is in the fair with his son, Troy plots his killing, but it goes wrong, since Archer gets wounded, but his son is killed. Archer, fueled by revenge goes after Troy even more relentlessly, eventually catching him after an exciting airport chase. He's supposedly dead, but isn't, he's in a coma. Why? Because they found a disk from his brother Pollux (Alessandro Nivola), who is Troy's sidekick, that Castor has set up a bomb with destructive proportions somewhere in the Los Angeles area. Archer tries to shake Troy’s friends out and his brother to find out where the bomb is, but no luck. What’s the final choice? Become Castor Troy. What? Where? Ahem, Gurgle. THAT’S THROUGH A FACIAL SURGERY THAT CUTS YOUR FACE OFF AND REPLACES IT WITH ANOTHER ONE. Get it? Now the plan is to become Castor and go to jail and persuade Pollux to tell the location of the bomb, and then they pull him out. Little does he know that Castor awakes from his coma and soon kills everybody that knows about the mission (Its a black bag operation, only a few people know), not before forcing the doctor to transform him into Archer, ruining everything on the original Archer's plans, and life. So the original Archer must stop the fake Archer before its too late.

Confusing isn't it? But that's the movies key of originality, and it works. Based on that, it heads to another twist that basically reflects down into the basic principles of acting, which is imitation. So the film analyses the ways of impersonating someone, since you see Troy -as Archer- turns Archer’s family upside down, and Archer's wife, Eve (Joan Allen), is surprised at his sudden feeling for romance when before he was full of revenge and depression, and furthermore Troy supporting Archer's daughter Jamie's (Dominique Swain) rebellion. Same thing happens with Archer as Troy, who tries to be like him and around Castor's brother Pollux, and furthermore Castor's gang. So it’s really interesting on how this situation is portrayed, since it shows you the challenges of being someone, and tries to imitate that someone. But on the outside, we see an actor’s dream come true, which is playing another actor. The feat of Travolta playing Cage and vice versa, basically gives out the film’s finest stroke of originality, and that impressed me. The movie is even more boosted by a set of action sequences that really blow you away. Woo's style of slow motion action places an atmosphere of suspense and "hold your breath" type of stuff, but there was a little flaw that I caught. Sometimes they are quite overlong; sure they are well choreographed but the gun fighting and all that never seems to stop. So this somewhat can become annoying to some viewers but for the rest if us it goes into thin air. The film's other key are both Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, whose performances in the film were top notch and pull off each others parts magnificently. The supporting cast is also great, and the camerawork, along with Woo's direction is impressive. Also the Sci-Fi parts are not only in the “swapping faces” part, wait until you see the prison scenes, it makes you wonder how the prison's of the twenty-first century are going to be.

In the end, I recommend this movie to anyone, because its great, it’s nearly flawless, and it’s enjoyable. It has basically set new standards on many action films to come, and probably will be up there in the "probable classics" list. Enjoy the ride. (4.5-5)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=353&reviewer=235
originally posted: 04/19/01 12:33:46
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User Comments

10/08/13 Jeff Wilder One of the best recent Hollywood action films. Woo's direction is superb. 5 stars
4/08/10 PAUL SHORTT VIOLENT, SILLY, ENTERTAINING THRILL RIDE 4 stars
11/18/08 killer are you kidding best movie ever 5 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner This one was kinda boring. 2 stars
8/17/08 John Millheim Pretty good, I like when Travolta has to act bad,creepy 4 stars
3/30/08 Pamela White compelling drama 4 stars
10/09/07 dude I thought it was boring 1 stars
10/07/07 mark madsen I thought mowie was pretty good. 4 stars
10/06/07 Mars. . . dAmn Good movie! ! ! 4 stars
6/11/07 al smith it rocks.woo's best american film and one of the best action films ever 5 stars
5/25/07 Sugarfoot Entertaining but a tad too long, the closest America has come to realizing Woo's craft. 4 stars
3/09/07 johnnyfog Overrated! But servicable. Gina Gershon's there for no reason 4 stars
12/26/06 johnnyfog Look, guns that shoot sparks and nothing else! Hammy Travolta is cool for once 4 stars
12/06/06 David Pollastrini great fx 4 stars
10/31/06 ProSneakyD A few flaws but other than that, a bloody well directed action movie, need more like this. 5 stars
9/01/06 Michele love it 5 stars
7/24/06 JenDenmark pretty baaaaahhhd! 2 stars
6/27/06 leslie weekes good old shoot em up sneering action film 3 stars
6/03/06 tatum A great big entertaining loud sloppy mess; lots of fun 4 stars
11/25/05 CONSTANTINE AWESOME review 'cooler' & 'Frank Rountree' GOOD ON YA'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/21/05 Frank Rountree Good effects, and great story, good cast 4 stars
10/22/05 cooler one of the greatest action movies of all time 5 stars
10/11/05 CONSTANTINE BEST AMERICAN MADE John Woo FILM EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/04/05 Tom Burns An action-packed movie. Travolta and Cage are great in their roles they play. 5 stars
8/16/05 ES John Woo, john Travolta & Niccholas Cage!= no one saw this movie would suck before hand? 1 stars
7/23/05 ALDO John Travolta/Nicholas Cage are GREAT IN THIS 5 stars
6/30/05 Negative An classic action film. Well done. Great story, acting, music. 5 stars
6/06/05 Daveman More silly and excessive than Hard Boiled (which is quite an achievement) but the action... 4 stars
6/04/05 Hack-SAW AN ACTION CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/03/05 Indrid Cold Fantastic concept and execution. As good as action gets. 5 stars
4/19/05 The Sorrow Instant, instant... INSTANT Friggen' CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow Classic... 5 stars
1/10/05 bana puts the acting into action movie 5 stars
8/08/04 Alan The least they could do is get actors with similar bone structures. 2 stars
5/31/04 John Poo's "Arse/Off" "YOU ASSHOLE!" "I'm not an asshole, I AM A MAN!" Back of the Y: masterpiece televison. 5 stars
4/18/04 Boris Smith High Energy Action and fun save this movie's stupid plot 3 stars
3/28/04 john John Woo's least offensive American film 4 stars
1/20/04 nameless cool action 5 stars
12/06/03 Gustavo Alejandro Reinoso The best action film in history 5 stars
10/13/03 Stefan Halka While over-long, this film is fun to watch from the superbly directed actiion sequences. 4 stars
5/16/03 mr. Pink Woo's best American movie with travolta & Cage at the top of their game. This rocks!! 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Starts off well, and goes downhill from there. Barely recommendable. 3 stars
8/19/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) "Hard-Boiled" and "Face/Off" are John Woo's best movies. 5 stars
7/25/02 murat idea? great,film?AVERAGE. 3 stars
7/24/02 STEVE THIS MOVIE ROCKS!!! 5 stars
7/20/02 ! One of the best action movies of the last years 5 stars
6/17/02 R.W. Welch Preposterous but quite watchable pic, novel if nothing else. 4 stars
6/08/02 Phil M. Aficionado Implausibility on steroids, but it is a gas and very different. Plot is over the top. 4 stars
4/24/02 Monster W. Kung Not bad, but the action becomes overkill in the end. 3 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand Awesome special effects...with two great actors 5 stars
1/17/02 David A. Has some exciting scenes, but the concept of transplating faces is too preposterous! 4 stars
1/03/02 Scream-Mania Cool actions, good plot, good acting, and a good movie 5 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 Exciting, great action, great acting! 5 stars
10/15/01 Andrew Carden A Few Good Action Scenes, but Travolta Seems Uncomfortable. 3 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean Fast paced, non-stop action with a decent plot! 5 stars
7/28/01 Steve Ass-kicking action sequences, great acting, great story, but a bit long. 4 stars
7/25/01 TLsmooth This fucking movie would not end. Nick Cage is dog shit. 1 stars
7/08/01 Gracy Lionheart I really liked this movie. I like psychotic villians. :-) 4 stars
6/26/01 Lars Pettersson Woo's best american movie without any doubt. Great acting, superb actionsequences ! 4 stars
6/15/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe Sadistic garbage; not worth two dead flies 1 stars
5/31/01 Mason Billotte This movie is fucking awesome! 5 stars
5/11/01 Finity fantasmic 5 stars
4/23/01 Luke In response to Jake = ????? BTW i loved this movie 5 stars
4/12/01 dale hardiman I bought this film a week ago and have watched it 20 times since.It's awesome. 5 stars
3/19/01 Mart Dawg REally good movie, original story, nicholas cage is the shit 5 stars
2/15/01 lisa Awesome, but sorta confusing. 5 stars
2/14/01 Jake John Woo does it again! 1 stars
2/13/01 Richard Wright "Papa's got a brand new bag." Exhilarating action film by a master of the genre. 4 stars
1/30/01 rubber PLEASE GIVE THIS A MISS!!! Total CRAP & BOLLOCKS!!! 1 stars
1/13/01 Jake Awesome action movie 5 stars
1/01/01 Msitrab One of the 5 best action movies ever 5 stars
12/28/00 Turtle Another Nic Cage action blockbuster! 5 stars
12/04/00 Cristopher Revilla one of the best action films since the fugitive, Bill Head, you should stop giving head! 5 stars
11/22/00 The Bill Head What a brainless monstrosity!! Filling with Woo's moronic action scenes..It was hilarious!! 1 stars
11/14/00 The EVIL Penguin a great soryline; more like realistic 4 stars
10/26/00 JC23 Delivers action AND a Story 5 stars
6/22/00 Visc Don't miss this one 5 stars
6/01/00 arnold bad ass 5 stars
5/30/00 Bruce Joseph is right, this is one of the best american action films ever. 5 stars
5/21/00 Cinesuerte with Joan Allen & Margaret Cho 2 of the most unattractive women of cinema 4 stars
4/29/00 Joseph P. Ulibas one of the best american action films I have seen. 5 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski OUCH!!! Ouch in a good way! 5 stars
1/20/00 ripley WOW!!! 5 stars
1/17/00 Dirk Diggler top notch 5 stars
1/12/00 dr.d a blazing thriller 5 stars
1/09/00 John Markham A steaming turd, with nuts in it. 1 stars
11/09/99 Bozo sadistic garbage from hollywood morons; what is joan allen doing here? 1 stars
11/02/99 C.A.T.M. Best action movie ever, with plot, characters, direction, and acting!! 5 stars
7/30/99 Matthew Bartley Amazing action but too long 4 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Absolutely fantastic. Pure entertainment- the choreography is fucking ace. 5 stars
6/04/99 Meagan This is the best action movie I've seen in a long time, and the best I've seen since. 5 stars
5/24/99 Allie A must see! 5 stars
5/23/99 GothamDK Awsome everything! Don't know how John Woo is going to top this. Hope he tries, though. 5 stars
5/19/99 Robert Williams Piece of shit, Woo hong kong movies cane this hollywood tripe. Tries to hard and it shows. 1 stars
5/15/99 lucas jackson this is one fucking good movie,it kicks ass!! 5 stars
4/30/99 Rob Mckechnie They should off called this The Best Action Scenes Ever : Volume 1 5 stars
4/26/99 Michael Grimm if Woo made this in Hong Kong it would have been better than Hard Boiled or the Killer 4 stars
4/20/99 jimmy jam WOWIE! 5 stars
2/19/99 nun uf yur businness some really gross parts but other wise its really really awesome! 5 stars
2/18/99 Piz vintage Wu in pour it on style...entertaining, fast, and a little repetitive 4 stars
1/15/99 DRMJSP Totally awesome movie."I guess you better pull the trigger. CAUSE I DON'T GIVE A FUCK!" 5 stars
1/09/99 Jo Mama i love gina gershon. oh, and the filming was great too. 5 stars
1/03/99 Dasha Face/Off ROCKS! One of the best action movies ever. 5 stars
11/13/98 Jules Why do they have 10 year olds writing movies in Hollywood? 3 stars
10/26/98 Brian Easily Woo's best American effort, but doesn't compare to "classics."1st time I saw, I love 5 stars
10/14/98 Chi-Fan Hu All the action I can take 5 stars
9/27/98 katherine pretty dumb 2 stars
9/24/98 Milhouse Faqw After about 2 minutes, I forgot about the plot. The action is the best ever. 5 stars
9/20/98 Jon Amazing Action Flick. Nic Cage and John Travolta are the awesome! 5 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor GGGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/07/98 ARMA-FUCK'N-GEDDON Oh come on... FACE/OFF is the best action flic next to, well, you guessed it 5 stars
9/02/98 J-Guy I was thinking "wouldnt their voices stay the same even if they switched faces?" 2 stars
8/30/98 Matt so very Woo-ish.. and yet not 4 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Hardboiled ruled - very realistic. Face/Off sucked - very contrived. 2 stars
8/20/98 The Man With The Helmet Hey Woo, slo-mo this. 3 stars
8/18/98 zubilicious john travolta's acting made me ill. nic cage was awesome in the first 30 mins of it. 4 stars
8/17/98 Johny Woo rocks a well acted action movie with an element of sci-fi to be accepted 5 stars
8/17/98 {{{OZ}}} Suspension of disbelief needed. Good moments, badly cast doubles & boom mics aplenty. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-Jun-1997 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Jul-1997




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