#1 The Rock

#1 The Rock
Year: 1996
Director: Michael Bay
MPAA Rating: R 
Epic Co-stars: Sean Connery
Running Time: 136 mins 
Cage Time: ~55% 
Cage Kills:
Cage Flip-outs: 7

Shauna's Review: In my mind, the only question is, “The Rock- great Nicolas Cage movie... or greatest Nicolas Cage movie?” The Rock is an ideal showcase for Nic Cage’s trademark intensity, witty/cheesy bon mots, and querulous eyebrows, making it (in my opinion) one of his best films.

In true Michael Bay style, The Rock’s simplistic script is merely a vehicle for dramatic camera angles, explosive car chases, and uber-dramatic moments (sprinkled liberally throughout). Nicolas Cage fits handily into this scenario with his constantly-furrowed brow, his near-whisper dialogue and his comically serious temper tantrums. Cage is perfectly partnered with Sean Connery, whose calm Scottish sarcasm provides an excellent counterpoint to Cage’s mega-acting. (Excellent actor Ed Harris is also in this movie, which makes you wonder... why is Ed Harris in this movie?)

If you’re a fan of comically ridiculous dialogue, hilariously thin plot lines, and seriously over-acted scenarios, you can’t go wrong with The Rock (see also: Face/Off). Movies where Nic Cage cracks a smile are highly overrated.

Nicolas Cage persona: Righteously indignant hero.
All he wants to do is find the Truth/ save the world, and the clock is ticking... so GET OUT OF HIS FREAKIN WAY, PEOPLE.

Range of facial expressions:
Minimal (ever-intense)
This is some serious shit. This is no place for smiles.

Movie quotability: 4/5
Favorite quote: “What do you say we cut the CHIT-CHAT, A-HOLE?!”
  • "How, in the name of ZEUS' BUTTHOLE, did you get out of your cell?!"
  • "I love pressure. I eat it for breakfast. "
  • "You know, I like history too, and maybe when this is all over you and I can stop by the souvenir shop together but right now I just... I just wanna find some rockets! "
  • "It's you. You're the Rocket Man."
  • "Well, gosh... kind of a lot's happened since then."
  • "FBI! Freeze, sucker!"

Plot Holes:
  • The "good guy" government officials risked the lives of millions in order to not spend $100M (minuscule by federal budget standards) on compensation for deserving families of fallen war heroes. Total Jerks.
  • When Dr. Stanley Goodspeed unscrews the rocket in the lighthouse, he turns the screwdriver the wrong way as made obvious by the constant ratcheting sound. What an idiot.
  • SPOILER: Although General Hummel redirects the rocket away from the football stadium to detonate "safely" in the San Francisco bay, wouldn't there still be some negative effects from this detonation, either in the water or spreading through the air from the point of impact, since the VX gas crystals are supposedly very fragile? While we're at it, why are the lights on at the stadium if it's noon?

Exceeds Expectations
!Tolerated the cage!


James Ayers said...

The first two of roughly 136 action packed hours over the next year have been LOGGED!

Also, Shauna is right, why the hell is Ed Harris in this movie? He was disappointingly boring for a "bad guy".

Steve M said...

I had planned to get this movie on Blu-ray from Netflix, but the popularity of your blog put in in high demand so they sent me the next item in my queue instead. So I crawled into the attic and brought down the VCR and had a refresher course on why DVD was such a huge leap in quality for movies. About 2 hours after I finished the movie Netflix emailed to say they're shipping me a Blu-ray copy from Antarctica and it'll arrive in several days. Sorry, not going to watch it again so soon.

Like many movie plots, it is thin in many areas and there are holes like the Ferrari's self healing windshield, but I don't think the $100M in exchange for "millions of lives" is such a big hole. Behind all that action and those explosions the movie is asking the question of how you treat terrorism that uses the threat of force to extort money? Do you do like the Russians and treat hostages like they are already dead or do like with the Somali pirates and throw them crates full of cash?

To me the greater plot holes were that people would sell out for only $1M each, the notion that the government is capable of saving $100M, and that the SEAL's best method of crossing a mile or so of San Francisco Bay is to fly out there on helicopters that can be seen on radar then use submersibles that last 100 yards or so least they break a sweat. Admittedly, Cage probably can't swim a mile, but I bet he knows how to ride in a zodiac.

The missiles are ridiculous in their own right. They have guidance chips that need changed out so frequently that they use card edge slots with no mechanical retainers to keep them from working loose, but apparently they don't get changed out after all because to do so you have to remove the gas first and that was assembled with sewing thread that is always breaking.

Ed Harris did a great job in the roll, after all, he's not really a "bad guy" is he? His methods are bad and he's surrounded himself with bad guys, but he's a troubled war hero trying to set things right and has no desire to hurt anyone. And for those of us that have sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me" it leaves you with a bit more to think about in the shower scene than for most viewers.

James Ayers said...

Nice review Steve, I think you've just secured the position of "Guest Reviewer" for the movie of your choice...

Rilifon said...

Review #7 (I think...again...)

The Rock... This maybe the first Nicolas Cage i ever saw thinking back right now. It was a long time ago, maybe when I was 10~11, I enter my dad's room and see him watching a movie. I ask to join, and after some time "arguing" that "I'm already old enough to see grown up movies" he lets me sit next to him.

At the time, I didn't know who Cage was, or even Sean Connery or any other people from the awesome cast and staff this film has, but after two hours of epic explosions and epic soundtrack, I can remember clearly asking to my dad "Who is that man screaming holding those green balls?"

Needless to say that was my first small little step to get to the Cage admirer and loving fan that I am now.

But back to the movie, what can I say? After watching it again, this may not have the biggest Cage factor of all, but damn, Michael Bay, Hans Zimmer, Sean Connery, Ed Harris and Nicolas Cage. There are few things that would make this better, and they all involve Cage in a bear suit.

TO sum up, this a Michael Bay movie, so adrenaline and explosions at all times (including an epic bus chase scene with insane explosion and cars flying). Ed Harris plays the epic bad guy but with good intentions, while Sean Connery is just the regular awesome/insane person, while Cage tries to portrait the scientist guy, but just ends up as a regular screaming Cage.

My final score:8.0
This is one of the few that I believe the movie could surpass, or even equals Cage acting.

KaBluie said...

#49 The Rock (1996) TNT On Demand. First Time View. I enjoyed this one a lot.

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