This week, we're sticking with action films but taking it back to the mid-90's, when almost every summer saw madman Nicolas Cage running to or from a variety of explosions. Along with John Woo's FACE/OFF, THE ROCK and CON AIR would go down as some of the most fun and over-the-top blockbusters of the decade, but which one holds up best today? Break out your best Cage, Connery, and Malkovich impressions, and let's blow some shit up.
Ed Harris as General Francis X. Hummel
John Spencer as F.B.I. Director Womack
David Morse as Major Tom Baxter
William Forsythe as Ernest Paxton
Michael Biehn as Commander Anderson
Vanessa Marcil as Carla Pestalozzi
John C. McGinley as Marine Captain Hendrix
Bokeem Woodbine as Sergeant Crisp
Ving Rhames as Diamond Dog
John Cusack as Vince Larkin
Dave Chappelle as Pinball
Danny Trejo as Johnny-23
Steve Buscemi as Garland Greene
Colm Meaney as Duncan Malloy
Monica Potter as Tricia Poe
Nick Chinlund as Billy Bedlam
Okay, don't get me wrong; Sean Connery and Ed Harris give performances miles above any in CON AIR, but CON AIR has such a rich, ridiculous, fun tapestry of characters. Other than the big names, THE ROCK is mostly just full of grumpy Feds and Marines yelling at each other.
"Congressman Weaver and esteemed members of the Special Armed Services Committee, I come before you to protest a grave injustice... It has to stop."
"You alert the media, I launch the gas. You refuse payment, I launch the gas. You've got forty hours, until noon, day after tomorrow, to arrange transfer of the money. I am aware of your countermeasure. You know and I know it doesn't stand a chance. Hummel from Alcatraz, out."
"Womack! Why am I not surprised, you piece of shit!"
"Okay, I don't want to know nothing. I never saw you throw that gentleman off the balcony. All I care about is: are you happy with your haircut?"
"Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*ck the prom queen."
"Carla was the prom queen."
"You've been around a lot of corpses. Is that normal?"
"What do you say we cut the chit-chat, A-HOLE?"
"Well, it's certainly more enjoyable than my average day... reading philosophy, avoiding gang rape in the washrooms... though it's less of a problem these days. Maybe I'm losing my sex appeal."
"How, in the name of Zeus's butthole, did you get out of your cell?"
"Look, I'm just a biochemist. Most of the time, I work in a little glass jar and lead a very uneventful life. I drive a Volvo, a beige one. But what I'm dealing with here is one of the most deadly substances the earth has ever known, so what say you cut me some FRIGGIN' SLACK?"
"I don't quite see how you cherish the memory of the dead by killing another million, and this is not combat, it's an act of lunacy, General, sir. Personally, I think you're a f*cking idiot."
"Excuse me, general... but what about the f*cking money?"
"Well, Stanley, I guess this is where we go our separate ways. I'm sure you know the etymology of your name, Goodspeed."
"God speed, to wish someone a prosperous journey. Why?"
"If you fancy a journey, I recommend Fort Walton, Kansas."
"I was thinking of Maui."
"'St Michael's Church, Fort Walton, Kansas. Front pew, right leg, hollow.' Is this what I think it is?Mason?!"
"Honey? Uh... You wanna know who really killed JFK?"
"They somehow managed to get every creep and freak in the universe onto this one plane. And then somehow managed to let them take it over. And then somehow managed to stick us right smack in the middle."
"Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash."
"Do you know what I am?"
"Ugly all day?"
"Beautiful? Sunsets are beautiful. Newborn babies are beautiful. This... this is f*cking spectacular!"
"He's a font of misplaced rage. Name your cliché; mother held him too much or not enough, last picked at kickball, late night sneaky uncle, whatever. Now he's so angry moments of levity actually cause him pain; gives him headaches. Happiness, for that gentleman, hurts."
"I despise rapists. For me, you're somewhere between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty."
"There is no medicine for what I have."
"Garrulous? What the f*ck is garrulous?"
"That would be loquacious, verbose, effusive. How about chatty?"
"What's with Dictionary Boy?"
"Thesaurus Boy I think is more appropriate."
"Put the bunny back in the box."
"Fact 1: we've got a plane up there filled with killers, rapists, and thieves and we've got this guy Cameron Poe: in on an involuntary manslaughter beef, non-gang affiliated. He's a parolee hitching a ride home. Fact 2: Poe has a chance to get off the plane, doesn't do it. Why? Fact 3: our guard Falzon said a convict named Cameron Poe planted Sims's tape recorder on him. These are interesting facts. You do the math on this... and we got an ally on that plane."
"Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you."
"What if I told you insane was working fifty hours a week in some office for fifty years at the end of which they tell you to piss off; ending up in some retirement village hoping to die before suffering the indignity of trying to make it to the toilet on time? Wouldn't you consider that to be insane?"
"Make a move and the bunny gets it."
"He's got the who-ole world in his hands..."
"I'm going to show you God does exist."
"Just so's ya know, Marshal Larkin, there's now three people I trust."
Rotten Tomatoes: 66% (Audience Score: 86%)
Metacritic: 58 (User Score: 8.8)
Domestic Total Gross: $134,069,511
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!
If you have a suggestion for a future Face-Off, let us know below or send me an email at email@example.com.