Movie of the Day – Con Air
January 20, 2013 2 Comments
*cue Sweet Home Alabama*
Former war hero Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is sentenced to eight years in prison when he accidentally kills a man in a barroom brawl while defending his pregnant wife. When his release comes through, he’s eager to see the daughter he’s never met. However, Poe’s original flight is delayed, so he’s put aboard a flight transporting ten of the most dangerous men in the American penal system to a new high-security facility. One of the criminals, Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom (John Malkovich), is a serial killer and insane genius who has hatched a diabolical plot: with the help of several other hoods, including Diamond Dog (Ving Rhames), Johnny 23 (Daniel Trejo), and Garland Greene (Steve Buscemi), Cyrus and his men will hijack the plane and fly to a neutral nation where they can live as free men. Poe finds himself stuck in the middle; he has to find a way to get home, keep himself alive, look after his cellmate Baby-O (Mykelti Williamson), who will die without proper medicine, and try to help the cops on the ground, including agent Vince Larkin (John Cusack). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Fuck every critic that crapped on this movie cause Con Air is pure, cheese action movie of the 90s. Nic Cage taking another role as an action star with that ridiculous hair and hickish accent that makes his role as Cameron Poe that much more enjoyable. I dare anyone to find something wrong with this action. It had basically everything you want, plenty of action scenes, cheesy as hell dialogue, and a cast that would make most ensemble movies seem pale by comparison. I mean besides Nic Cage you have the follow; John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Dave Chappelle, John Cusack, and Colm Meaney. Yeah, for film fan like me, this is a pretty fucking sweet cast to place in an all out action movie.
Oh man, where to even really begin in terms of actually talking about the movie rather than talking about everything else in the movie. First, I guess, Con Air has one of my favorite pet peeves in terms of having an action trope and that is War Hero Ridicule. Cameron Poe is apparently goaded by some drunk rednecks into defending himself, yeah, even war heroes are constantly being bullied. It never ceases to amaze me that movies with a particular military service hero is somehow chided and ridiculed for his service. I mean, who the fuck does that? But yet it has to happen and then we get that pivotal line in which we now know that our hero is a deadly weapon cause his training, thus solidifying his bad ass status.
Aside from that typical movie trope, Malkovich as a villain is nothing short of amazing. I mean the guys name is Cyrus The Virus and he is a pure, criminal mastermind. He overtakes the plane, holds people hostages, and threatens to kill a stuffed bunny, total asshole villain. Buscemi though gets to play creepy serial killer, which kind of seems like typecasting given his appearance, but he offers up some of the levity and humor to thuhue movie. Coming onto the screen like a Hannibal Lecter figure and just spouting off psychotic, but poignant humor.
None though take the cake more in terms of amazing acting prowess than Nic Cage himself, a simple country man who also happens to be a trained killer former green beret. Oh yes, Cameron Poe just wants to get home to his hummingbird, which I imagine a lot of people in the south call their loved ones, and decides that a convict filled airplane is the best way to get home, as opposed to a bus full of convicts are not mass murderers, serial killers, rapists, and a whole assortment of bad guys from movies. Cage moves through his action scenes with signature slow motion shots that highlight that stringy mess of a hair he has and wife beater all white trashy looking.
This is an action film of the 90s, plain and simple. If this would come out now, this would be laughed at as another stinker for Cage or something to that effect. This is just the right amount of Jerry Bruckheimer influence that makes it memorable and enjoyable. Shit, I know I will watch this anytime it comes on TV and will always put this high on the Nic Cage list of great movies.