In director John Woo’s over-the-top blockbuster, Nicolas Cage plays Castor Troy, a lunatic terrorist who, having planted a bomb somewhere in LA, is put into a coma by his FBI agent nemesis, Sean Archer (John Travolta).
So, of course, Archer uses ultra-modern plastic surgery to swap faces with Troy to dupe the villain’s associates – including brother Pollux (Alessandro Nivola) and old flame Sasha (Gina Gershon) – into revealing the bomb’s location.
Things take a turn for the worse when Troy regains consciousness, steals Archer’s face and assumes the lawman’s identity.
The mix of bizarre plotting, high-octane thrills and sentimental drama doesn’t always gel, but there are some nice moments, especially when Cage begins to revive Travolta’s stale marriage to Joan Allen, and Woo more than delivers in the overblown action stakes.
It’s also patently evident that both stars are having a ball sending up each other’s mannerisms.
Dr Malcolm Walsh
Prison Guard Walton
John Carroll Lynch
C C H Pounder