Face Off [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
The idea of the contraddiction and the existential short circuit produced by the exchange of personalities is developed very well, and the two actors are so good to imitate one another's tic, expressions, body language to convey that.
This is a narrative idea that brilliatnly and dramatically suggest how good and bad are exchangeable and totally relative sometimes, and there is no room for judgement and absolute justice to decide who is right and who is wrong.
There are also some impressive scenes, where John Woo shows his talent and art (the spectacular gunfight with the music of "Over the Rainbow").
But still the Director shows some flawes, that, to me, are not due to Studios and Production influence on him, but because he is a little kitsch and rough himself (enough with slow motion, doves, pointless camera movements, etc...) And you can tell it also by some ridiculous moments whee Nicolas Cage confirm to be Nicolas Cage (no matter of the "face exchange") and overacts as usual. The blu ray is very good anyway and the film is enjoyable and not stupid
UPDATE : I wrote this review ages ago and have stumbled across some comments which warrant a response. The current US version is NOT region coded, as pointed out. (I think the initial pressing was, at the time of writting, but the US version is now a Paramount release which is region free).
The BBFC website shows if films are cut. Sometimes the guidance changes and previous cuts are waived, this is noted in any new classifications. There is no mention of previous cuts waived. With older releases such as this, it is sometimes more difficult to establish if there are cuts, as the video version will be labelled as 'uncut', but there will be a note indicating 'as UKCV', so you then need to check if the UK cinema version was cut. Sometimes this note is not there, so although the BBFC entry might say 'passed with no cuts' there are caveats to this. Unless the reclassification says 'all previous cuts waived' then tread with caution.
Every other country has teh full cut movie, except this one where the switchblade scenes have been removed.
Its only a few seconds but done very poorly and easily seen.
I havent watched the movie in ten years yet I noticed it straight away.
PQ and AQ is great otherwise, dunno why its censored in UK.
Now despite this bias, I'll admit that the plot is completely implausible. Even if you ignore the science behind doing face transplants like this (which are now possible, but not in the way portrayed) the idea that they would even attempt it, or that Nicolas Cage could somehow escape and kill everyone who knew about it, is pretty ridiculous.
Likewise I'll accept that John Woo's love of slow motion shots of people shooting guns while birds flutter around in the background gets a bit silly (see Mission Impossible 2 for another example). Indeed Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, despite being a master criminal and a supercop, have arguably the worst shooting accuracy in the history of film. They both unload a couple of thousand rounds of ammunition at each other in countless setpieces and yet fail to even hit the target once (John Travolta's teenage daughter seems to be the best shot).
All of this is irrelevant, though. The point is that it's a fun situation and if you disengage the cynical part of your brain for an hour and a half it's immensely entertaining. Unfortunately at some point over the last 15 years Hollywood became completely dominated by CGI reboots of old franchises, adaptations of bestselling novels, and ensemble cast cash-ins. As a result, the sheer unfettered silliness of a film like Face/Off seems to be something of a dying art. It's by no means a work of genius, but for sheer entertainment/nostalgia value it deserves 5 stars.
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