U.S., 1997, 115 min, 35mm, Dir. Simon West, Rated R, Swank
"Producer Jerry Bruckheimer never met an explosion, a car crash or 20 tough guys talking trash he didn’t like." – Desson Howe, Washington Post
20 years ago, producer Jerry Bruckheimer gathered the baddest bunch of convicts, stuck them on a prison transport airplane, and lit a fuse. The resulting explosion, known as Con Air, is a case study in the thrill ride genre. Nicolas Cage stars as Cameron Poe, a former Army Ranger sentenced to eight years after accidentally killing a man in a brawl while defending his pregnant wife. When his release comes through, Poe is eager to see the daughter he’s never met. But a last minute delay puts him aboard a flight transporting ten of the most dangerous men in the American penal system. All hell breaks loose when serial killer and insane genius Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom (John Malkovich) hijacks the plane with the help of several other hoods. Featuring action-packed stunts, a climax set on the Las Vegas strip, and an all-star cast that includes John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, and Dave Chappelle, Con Air is among the cream of the crop of late 90’s action films. Sure, it’s kind of dumb and full of machismo, but it packs enough self-awareness to be a joyous ride. So take your seat and say your prayers!
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