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Face/Off

John Travolta , Nicolas Cage , John Woo    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.88
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At his best, director John Woo turns action movies into ballets of blood and bullets grounded in character drama. Face/Off marks Woo's first American film to reach the pitched level of his best Hong Kong work (Hard-Boiled). He takes a patently absurd premise--hero and villain exchange identities by literally swapping faces in science-fiction plastic surgery--and creates a double-barreled revenge film driven by the split psyches of its newly redefined characters. FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) must play the villain to move through the underworld while psychotic terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) becomes a perversely paternal family man while using every tool at his disposal to destroy his nemesis. Travolta vamps Cage's tics and flamboyant excess with the grace of a dancer after his transformation from cop to criminal, while Cage plays the sullen, bottled-up agent excruciatingly trapped behind the face of the man who killed his son. His attempts to live up to the terrorist's reputation become cathartic explosions of violence that both thrill and terrify him. This is merely icing on the cake for action fans, the dramatic backbone for some of the most visceral action thrills ever. Woo fills the screen with one show-stopping set piece after another, bringing a poetic grace to the action freakout with sweeping camerawork and sophisticated editing. This marriage of melodrama and mayhem ups the ante from cops-and-robbers clichés to a conflict of near-mythic levels. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Travolta and cage Feb. 27 2014
By Dave
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I didn't think this was a very good film....it is boring, at least that's how I found it. Not high on my list of the all time greats!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie Jan. 20 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great action packed movie with two phenomenal actors!so totally worth watching over and over again and again!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really Cool Movie!!! March 9 2013
By Tanisha
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This movie is definitely in my top 50.If you are looking for action and something a little more different than all of the other movies out there; give FACE/OFF a shot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars switched identies March 5 2004
Format:DVD
John Travolta and Nicolas Cage star in "Face/Off". FBI Special Agent John Archer (Travolta) has been chasing super terrorist Caster Troy (Cage). Eventually Cage is arrested but comatose, which is problimatic because there is a huge bomb somewhere in L.A. After exhasing all conventional methods, Archer decides to assume Troy's identity through an experimental surgury that allows one to wear the others face. Things go way wrong when Troy wakes up and takes over Archer's life. Ok, the plot is unbelievablely silly. But Travolta and Cage are very interesting and you can never take your eyes off them, even if it's hard to tell who's who. The supporting cat is amazing as well. Gina Gershon and Joan Allen are excellent as the woman in the men's life. They are both tough, resourseful, and smart (though both are these qualitys but in defferent ways). The action is first rate. John Woo was an expert in hyperactive actioneers in Hong Kong, now he finally gets to apply his style to a major American movie. The violence is grusome, but not to a slasher movie mentality. It's just an all around great movie.
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Format:DVD
Legendary Hong Kong action director John Woo (The Killer, Hard Boiled) helped craft a modern mainstream action classic in 1997 with Face/Off. Despite the film's absurd premise: FBI Agent John Travolta swaps faces and identities with psycho terrorist Nicolas Cage, that doesn't take away from the high impact drama and superb performances from Travolta and Cage. And did I mention the action scenes? Face/Off contains some of the best action sequences to ever be seen in film today, and this film is still the best Woo film to be made in America. Travolta and Cage perfectly imitate each other's traits while caught in Woo's balet of blood and bullets. The only flaw of Face/Off is the DVD itself. While the picture and sound quality are superb, there are no extras to be had other than the film's trailer. Hopefully someday Paramount will have the good sense to re-release the film packed with extras. Mainstream action rarely gets better than this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars face off July 17 2004
By joey
Format:DVD
he best movie in the ear 1997 it is perfect action good and adventure good nice acting for john travolta and nice acting for nicolas cage
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite action films! June 13 2004
Format:DVD
Place this modern action classic up there with DIE HARD, SPEED, and THE NEGOTIATOR as one of my personal favorite action films.
Before watching FACE/OFF completely, I had taken a look at one of director John Woo's Hong Kong action epics, THE KILLER. I must say, I prefer FACE/OFF better. Sure, both films have that same over-the-top operatic style, but at least FACE/OFF isn't as shamelessly sentimental as THE KILLER was. In THE KILLER, Woo's main characters both demolished hundreds of extras in graphically bloody style, and towards the end it got a bit too much even for me. In FACE/OFF, the gore isn't quite as graphic, and while the body count is still pretty high, it never got to the point that I was disgusted.
I'm not a knee-jerk admirer of John Woo as some people are. That slow-motion technique of his can become wince-inducingly excessive, especially now that many lesser action directors have started to rip off his style. In this case, though, one is too engrossed in the plot and in awe of the high-energy action staging to notice.
Of course, most people probably already have an idea of what the plot is about: criminal Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) dies, but he has planted a bomb somewhere in LA, so obsessive detective Sean Archer (John Travolta) literally swaps identities with his arch-nemesis to go undercover at a high-tech prison to find out where that bomb is. Obviously, this situation leads to various complications as Troy wakes up from his coma, takes Archer's face, kills the doctors who performed the operation, and then tries to find Archer. It's the typical body-switch, and I would be remiss to mention that Troy is responsible for the death of Archer's son many years ago, and thus Archer has a vendetta against him that explains his obsessiveness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Action as Art June 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
While the plot of this movie is relatively interesting, this movie is really about two things:
First, the lead actors get to do the characters they do best as fully as they know how. Cage is his typical, neurotic, repressed, and emotionally conflicted self. Travolta hams it up in the outlandish, larger-than-life way that he often does. Despite what could be seen as overacting by both the leads, the almost absurd disparity between them is one of central things that makes this movie work.
Second, this movie has the most beautiful action sequences of any action movie I have ever seen (excluding epic-type movies, i.e. LOTR, Star Wars, Braveheart, etc.). This is a film that knows it's an action movie and revels in it. The cinematography in the fight scenes simultaneously displays the nature of the characters and the intensity of the battle between them. There are so many moments when you will just delight at the visual art that is every action sequence in this film. Needless to say, this movie has all the gunfights, fistfights, chases, and large explosions that one would expect in a serious action film.
If you like action movies, this is the first one I would recommend.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Face/Off for Blu Ray is cancelled
This is a Paramount title, and they are HD DVD exclusive, thus this won't be avilable in Blu Ray.
Published on Oct. 25 2007 by Jim S. Spencer
4.0 out of 5 stars good action flick
This John Woo action movie doesn't really bring any great surprises to the table, but it is a highly entertaing, and well done film. Read more
Published on May 29 2004 by adead_poet@hotmail.com
4.0 out of 5 stars He literally loses face!!!
John Travolta plays FBI agent Sean Archer, whose son is tragically shot by Castor Troy (Nic Cage) while playing on a carousel. Archer vows revenge and thus the plot begins. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by momazon
5.0 out of 5 stars WOO!!!!
FACE OFF has some of the most visceral, imaginative and jawdropping action scenes on film. John Woo's direction is perfect in capturing the action scenes, whether he uses slow... Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by Michael Butts
2.0 out of 5 stars Special Edition????? (regioun 4 reveiw)
Dont take my low vote on this movie the wrong way. I'm not voting down the movie, the movie is a great movie, a definit 4 star movie for me. Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Micheal Hunt
1.0 out of 5 stars Dumb Action Movie.
'Face/Off' is yet another dumb action movie. I don't think even action movie fans could like it.
Published on April 26 2004 by Dhaval Vyas
2.0 out of 5 stars Put the face back on... actually never take it off
This movie has a great premise. Take the face of your enemy and become him to destory him. But I promise you, if you have any intelligence what so ever you will realize that this... Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by "buriedalive2064"
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