If you haven’t heard of Con Air, one of the most entertaining action movies of the nineties, consider yourself lucky. You will get to experience this fun, violent and above all engaging movie in its all glory. As Simon Pegg said in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People this is the best movie of all time. Well, it is not the best, but definitely, it is the best movie for Sunday watching. It is a classical big-budget action movie with a lot of explosions, cool characters, and catchy one-liners. I particularly remember the scene with Steve Buscemi and the little girl. And if you’re looking to follow it up with something Face/Off and The Rock are pretty good choices. Both of them star the one and only Nic Cage.
As you might have guessed the story in Con Air is not its strongest point, but there is a lot of things to distract you from it. Those few years around 1997 were really productive when it comes to great action movies. They all utilized both CGI and practical effects, combining them into an almost comeback of the eighties in larger-than-life explosions and stunts. Another great thing about these movies, especially Con Air, is that they did not take themselves seriously. They know there’s no way that something like _____ could happen, so why pretend it’s actually possible. This created a very vibrant and entertaining atmosphere, making the movie much more engaging.
Cameron Poe is a US Ranger that was imprisoned for manslaughter. After serving his sentence he’s heading home in a plane full of other inmates. Their destination, however, is about to drastically change.
Just look at the cast of Con Air! Just look at it! There’s not one single person there who did their job poorly. They were all, terrific and larger-than-life, exactly what a mindless movie like this needs. Apart from all the action, humor is one of the things that will make you love this movie. I mean, the very fact we have Dave Chappelle, Nicolas Cage, and Steve Buscemi in the same movie is mindboggling. Despite using the formula seen many times before, Con Air managed to wrap it up so nicely it feels refreshing and new. It will be copied many times in the coming years, mostly by B action movies destined for bargain bins in supermarkets.
With a runtime of just under two hours, this is also a long-ass thrill ride that never gets boring. It does, however, get cheesy, so if you’re not prepared for that better wait for the right time for this one. Instead, you might want to check out Executive Decision, another action movie set entirely on a plane.
Director: Simon West
Cast: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Dave Chappelle, Danny Trejo
Fun Facts: Dave Chappelle improvised most of his lines.