Face Off (1994)

“I want to take his face……off”


I was lucky enough to watch Face Off on Friday night. I’d just been out for dinner with my boyfriend to celebrate his new job and you know when you’re really bloated and tired from eating? And you just want to sink into the sofa with a remote in one hand, cup of tea in the other? That was me on Friday. To be fair that’s me after most meals but anyway, I digress.

So after getting back home (in pain, too much food) and doing the sink into the sofa bit I started channel flicking and discovered, to my absolute delight, that Face Off had just started on TV. How. Bloody. Perfect. And even something that my boyfriend would enjoy. Usually, unless it’s Studio Ghibli or Bruce Willis, he’s not that bothered. Strange combination I know. Anyway. Face Off.


Of course I’ve seen Face Off before, more than once and I own it on DVD. But don’t you find the more movies you own (I have literally hundreds and yes obviously they’re in alphabetical order) the fussier you get? I know I can barely settle on any choice some evenings, always with the vague idea I’ll find something even more perfect if I keep staring at DVD spines.

But oh man, how much did I enjoy Face Off! Oh so much. It’s so ridiculous and over the top and just so much fun! Not five minutes goes by without something being blown up or driven into or shot. I think my favourite bit of the whole movie is when Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) first gets Sean Archer’s (John Travolta) face and he goes to the prison to wind him up a bit then back home to shake his family up a bit……because Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag!

John Travolta plays it so well. From the good guy cop to crazy criminal with flair Castor Troy. And though Nicolas Cage is wonderfully great too (no other guy could have played Castor) I still think it’s slightly more Travolta’s movie. He gets to have so much fun, playing the baddie for most of the movie and making in-jokes about himself (well, his chin anyway).

Of course, I do think Sean’s wife may have wondered about her less-than-small husband’s weight loss (as if swapping bone structure wasn’t bad enough – snigger snigger – what about their bodies?!). But minor plot holes such as these  shouldn’t let us not enjoy, what is, after all, one of the best action movies ever made. John Woo (the director) is known for over-the-top action, so don’t complain. And Michael Bay gets away with it every summer.

If someone had asked me last Thursday “what’s your favourite Nicolas Cage action movie?” I would have, without hesitation answered Con Air. Now, Con Air is still fucking awesome but I feel an epiphany has now taken hold of me and faced with the same question I’d just scream FACE OFF!!!!!! Until the person who asked me the question was running away, petrified by my over the top reaction.


As any movie, it has to have a few weak links and apart from the absolutely ludicrous science bits – which I love and won’t hear a word against – the only thing I really dislike in the movie is Castor’s brother who I believe is really Cecil from The Simpsons (Side Show Bob’s nerdy / criminal brother). Apart from having a name a little too similar to the word bollocks, Pollux Troy irritates me mainly because of the way he speaks. Still, he dies, so never mind.


Side Show Bob and Cecil. Or Castor and Pollux?


About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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40 Responses to Face Off (1994)

  1. Pingback: Films I Watched In: October & November | emmakwall (explains it all)

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  3. Akhiz says:

    well it has two of my fav actors JT nd NC, john woo as director and you have got a perfect formula for two and half hr of well entertainment where logic just goes home to sleep. cuz the acting is good so they pull it off easily .

    PS: it came out in 1997 🙂

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