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FACE/OFF
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Film Credits
Director: John Woo
Producers: David Permut,Barrie Osborne,Terence Chang,Christopher Godsick
Excutive Producers:Michael Douglas,Steven Reuther,Johnathan Krane
Written by: Michael Colleary,Mike Werb
Co-Producers:Michael Colleary,Mike Werb
Music by:John Powell
Director of Photography:Oliver Wood
Production Designer:Neil Spsak

Production Notes
At last, the film all John Woo fans have been waiting for finally arrived in 1997.
Face/Off is John Woo's third and by far, most successful US film. Having much more freedom and control than his previous two US films, John Woo employs all his famous trademarks to crave out a masterpiece. Face/Off not only boasts of John Woo trademark action sequences but also featured the star-power attraction of dramatic actors Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. As actor John Travolta describes it, "Face/Off is a rare mix of poetry, action, humour and suspense." Face/Off would finally showcases John Woo's talents at filmaking to American audiences. John Woo originally turn down the offer to do Face/Off several times before agreeing to do the film after some changes to the script. After the successful outing of Face/Off, John Woo is now regarded as one of Hollywood most caliber directors and thus, granted much more freedom and control for his future projects like King's Ransom.

Storyline
Face/Off starts off with a comic book style-black and white intro featuring the assassination of Sean Archer (John Travolta) by terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage). The bullet meant for Sean Archer instead kills Archer's son and from that point on, Archer and Troy develops into great enemies.
Archer's obsession with nabbing Troy breaks up his family as he ends up abandoning his wife and daughter. Archer finally nails down Castor Troy after an excellent plane-helicopter chase and shoot-out in a hanger. Archer soon learns that Castor Troy has planted a bomb in the city and only his brother, Pollux knows where the bomb is planted. Castor Troy and Sean Archer ends up swapping faces in a high-tech surgery so that the latter could learn about the location of the bomb.
This all happens in the first 20-minutes and after that, the two plays an endless game of cat and mouse.

Review
Here's the verdict: I liked Face/Off very much. Some Woo fans has said Face/Off is too-Hollywood but let's faced it: the man is now making US films so expect his films to be more "western". Thankfully Face/Off loses none of it's appeal his Hong Kong classics like The Killer has except maybe the much too "Hollywood ending".
Everything seems to turn out so well at the end, there's just a feeling that again Hollywood is constricting Woo's ideas. John Woo also hinted that he originally wanted a more darker ending for Face/Off where the audience are left wondering if the Sean Archer that returns home is the real Sean Archer or Castor Troy.
Beside that flaw,Face/Off is very entertaining film, packed with intense action sequences just like John Woo other great films. The helicopter-plane chase sequence at the start is very exciting, where Archer and Troy battles head-to-head each using a helicopter and plane respectively.
The story for Face/Off seems a bit too far-fetch but Cage and Travolta really helped to bring this movie to life. Nic Cage was exceptional as the evil terrorist Castor Troy with a huge appetite for life: mainly wealth and sex but switches to the sensitive Sean Archer with equal ease. John Travolta has also improved on his villain act after Broken Arrow as he gets to play the villain role more often in the film than Cage.
Finally, director John Woo brought back some scenes from his famous Hong Kong films in Face/Off. Woo re-creates The Killer when a brief shoot-out between Sean Archer and Castor Troy takes place in a church and the scene where Castor emerges from his car wearing a long trenchcoat brought back memories of Mark from A Better Tomorrow

[A Better Tomorrow] [A Better Tomorrow II] [Just Heroes] [The Killer] [Bullet In The Head]
[Once A Thief] [Hard Boiled] [Hard Target] [Broken Arrow] [Once A Thief TV Pilot]
[The Replacement Killers] [Blackjack] [The Big Hit] [Mission Impossible 2]


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