Sunday, 4 November 2012

FILM: The Rock (7/10)

Why did I watch it?
This is one of those films that I should have seen but for no particular reason I haven't. Instead I've managed to see Con Air probably half a dozen times. 

What's it all about?
Ed Harris plays disillusioned US general Frank Hummel, who leads his rogue team of Marines to seize control of Alcatraz, taking 81 hostages in the process. Armed with biological VX missiles aimed at San Francisco, Hummel demands funds for the families of those marines who have died in deniable operations. The US governments teams up FBI chemical specialist Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) with former SAS operative and Alcatraz inmate John Mason (Sean Connery) to save the day.

Should you watch it?
The Rock is a straight forward action film with no regrets. Bang for your buck director Michael Bay's second film delivers gun fights, car chases, explosions a plenty, all tethered to a pretty zany plot. He finds time to squeeze in some instantly recognisable shots, namely the slow motion shots of Cage getting to his feet a la Will Smith in Bad Boys.

The three leads play there characters well. Harris plays Hummel dead straight and manages to give him several dimensions. Cage is his fairly usual character, the goofy, funny, out of place hero. Connery brings some extra class to the film although he does have a few cheesy lines that would make a Bond script look Shakespearian. Producers Bruckheimer and Simpson gave soundtrack duties to Hans Zimmer, who delivers another fantastic Zimmer special.

As 1990's action films go, The Rock is up with the best of them.

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