This was the film that cemented Nicolas Cage’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s most unlikely action heroes.
Cage is Cameron Poe, an ex-Army Ranger jailed for a murder he committed in self-defence, whose release is interrupted when his flight home on the “Jailbird” (a convict transport plane) is hijacked by a bunch of America’s most dangerous felons.
His impossibly cool macho posturing is irresistible, as is John Malkovich’s sneering, tongue-in-cheek turn as super-criminal Cyrus “the Virus” Grissom.
John Cusack and Ving Rhames lend snappy support while Steve Buscemi steals nearly every scene he is in with an inspired pastiche of Hannibal Lecter.
Armed with an entertaining script by Scott Rosenberg, director Simon West delivered a dynamic debut that’s nearly impossible to dislike. The public certainly found it a winning formula – it went on to take more than $200 million around the world.
Cyrus “the Virus” Grissom
M C Gainey
Sally Can’t Dance