Sunday, 1 July 2012
Con Air is nothing if not a bold film. I mean, take that title. It's a pun on air con(ditioning). To launch a multi-million dollar action film lumbered with that title is a move that takes serious cojones.
Fortunately, the film is much better that its cheesy title. Con Air is wicked. But then, how could it not be? You've got John Malkovich providing some honey-glazed ham as the excellently named Cyrus the Virus, the film's bad guy. You've got John Cusack driving around in a sports car being humane but also very cool. You've got Steve Buscemi, doing what comes naturally to him: being creepy. You've got support from Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames, Dave Chapelle and that bloke from Lost. And of course, you have Nic Cage giving a cocksure performance as Cameron Poe (most people in this film have excellent names), the army guy who made a mistake way back when, after accidentally manslaughtering some yahoos who insult the honour of his woman.
This lands him in prison for some years, where he nobly serves his time, gets even more ripped and grows some quite remarkable hair. On the day of his release, for reasons important to plot, he finds himself being transported on an aeroplane with a load of vicious crims who duly take over the plane in mid-air. Cage must then use his powers of arse-kick and his Southern drawl to Save the Goddamn Day.
What I liked about Con Air, after the funny lines, impressive action sequences and Cage heroically and savagely beating a rapist in chivalrous fury, was the film's ability to take its own inherent ridiculousness seriously. For the most part. The part of Con Air I didn't really care for was the final chase sequence which feels unnecessary. To be fair to it, that I can watch a load of criminals with wacky names joy ride an aeroplane around the United States only to be foiled by someone who looks like he roadies for Monster Magnet and then be confronted with a motorcycle chase and think, 'oh, now it's getting silly!' is a tribute to the rest of the film's wicked-awesomeness. That said, Cyrus's inevitable and climactic death at the end of the chase is a convoluted master-stroke of brilliant proportions. The only other bad thing about the film is Trisha Yearwood's godawful balladeering as the credits crawl. How do I live? Hopefully without hearing that nonsense again.
That aside, you have every reason to make Con Air the next airline you fly with. By that I mean that you should watch it at your next opportunity. You can't really fly with Con Air, it's not real. I was doing a metaphor.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Friday, 6 April 2012
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Saturday, 10 March 2012
Thursday, 8 March 2012
age gives an outrageous performance and I recognised several moments from the Nicolas Cage Losing his Shit video on YouTube. An excellent sign.
I liked the intro montage, which managed to make New York look suitably gothic. The film reminded me in a lot of ways of American Psycho (rich New Yorker sleeps around, goes a bit mad, questions his reality). I also liked the awkward black humour in the film and Cage’s scenes with his psychiatrist are consistently amusing.
I was somewhat troubled by the film’s slightly offhand attitude to women. Cage’s tormenting of his assistant Alva (Maria Conchita Alonso) pushes the boundaries of taste a little too closely. Alonso gives Cage as good as she gets though, more or less, which is good to see.
It would have been interesting to see this film in ’88 (the year of my birth, incidentally), before the recent Twilight-inspired re-proliferation of the vampire genre. Watching it now, Vampire’s Kiss felt like an original and refreshing take on the mythological monster. One can only imagine how exciting watching this vampire movie must have been before we were seeing the current oversaturation of bloodsuckers.