Until you actually sit down and think about it you don't really realize how many bad films Nicholas Cage has been in. If I was a director and he got cast on my film I would think it was a curse. It sometimes amazes me how many films he is paid a lot of money to make. I can't explain it, but somehow despite Cage his film seem to make money. He is so wooden at times I wonder if he is even awake half the time when he is delivering his roles. Couple his misadventures in acting with John Travolta's hamminess and you have quite a mess.
Director John Woo (Mission: Impossible II, Paycheck) always tries to make very slick and visually cool action films usually to good end results. This is an exception to that rule. Probably having more to do with the preposterously implausible story rather than his directing, the film is laughable at times. Another instance of a film being funny without trying to be. You want me to believe that you could simply take off the face of one person and graft it onto another and no one would be able to tell the difference!? Hunh? What about bone structure differences? Body size differences? We are supposed to believe that even their wives couldn't tell? No way!
Woo has packed the film full of action probably because he realized that it was lacking storywise. There is not much time thankfully between action scenes. The action scenes are even cooler and clearer on HD DVD, so it really makes a difference with this film. I guess if you can get beyond the farflungness then it is a decent film, but that was too much to ask from me.
FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta – Grease, Hairspray) is a tough man who seems to be able to handle anything, but when his own son is killed he is pushed over the edge. Archer believes that his son was murdered by powerful criminal Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage – Next, National Treasure). It becomes Archer sole purpose to capture Troy and one day he seemingly has him trapped when he knocks him out cold. When Troy awakens he lets Archer know that he has planted a bomb powerful enough to destroy the entire city of Los Angeles. One other person knows where the bomb is located, but unfortunately that is Troy's brother, Polloux (Alessandro Nivola – Mansfield Park, Laurel Canyon). Of course he won't tell Archer where the bomb is. A plan is hatched where Troy's face and Archer's will be swapped, so that Archer/Troy can speak to Pollux and get him to divulge the location of the bomb. The plan seems foolproof until Troy/Archer wakes up and wants his face back.
-The Light and the Dark: The Making of Face /Off
-John Woo: A Life in Pictures