Writer: Scott Rosenberg (Screenplay)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi, Monica Potter, Danny Trejo
Plot: Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Purely Enjoyable Action Film
Story: Con Air starts as war veteran Cameron Poe (Cage) returns to his wife Tricia (Potter) but due to the local drinks attacking him 3-1 style one ends up dead and Cameron finds himself facing jail, somehow. We get a montage to show how Cameron spends his time in jail never wanting to meet his daughter but communicating with her through letters.
Cameron is about to be released on a transport that includes his friend Baby-O (Williamson) but also a large number of deadly prisoners including Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom (Malkovich), Diamond Dog (Rhames), Johnny-23 (Trejo), Swamp Thing (Gainey), Pinball (Chappelle) and Garland Greene (Buscemi) as well as other characters. Vince Larkin (Cusack) is overseeing the transfer with Duncan Malloy (Meaney) who are trying to interrogate one of the prisoners on route.
Once in the air Cyrus has arranged a prison escape and as he quotes ‘welcome to con air’. Cameron decides to stay on the plane and protect his friend and female guard, making him the only line of defence between the prisoners and freedom.
Con Air gave us one of the most entertaining action thrillers of the 90s, the story is very thin which is what we need to let the action unfold. Our leading man is the main development as we instantly feel sympathy for him after his imprisonment for defending himself. One man doing the right thing against criminals all works for what we need but let’s face it we only want to see the action unfold and this gives us everything.
Nicolas Cage: Cameron Poe is the war veteran who gets sent to jail after defending himself in a bar brawl, he has served his time and his coming home on the prisoner transport. Once the prisoners take over the plane he stays to stop them escaping and saving his friend. Nicolas gives us one of the most entertaining action leading performances of the 90’s.
John Malkovich: Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom is the leader of the prisoner escape, he has spent most of his life in jail becoming a genius in the process. He is calculated with every move he makes when it comes to this escape making him a villain not to be messed with. John makes for a great villain that stays calm until the very end.
John Cusack: Vince Larkin is overseeing the prison transfer and is battling with the loud mouth Malloy. He using longer words to annoy Malloy but is the only one to believe that Cameron is the hero on the plane. John works in this role but sometimes feels out of place with the action stars.
Steve Buscemi: Garland ‘The Marietta Mangler’ Greene is a late addition to the transport, he is one of the most notorious serial killers on the planet. He is completing out of his mind but not involved in the main part of the escape. Steve gives us one of the most memorable supporting character that never really seems to be involved with the main story.
Support Cast: Con Air has a big supporting cast that all help show the hero side of Cameron.
Director Review: Simon West – Simon gives us an action film we can all enjoy still 20 years after its release.
Action: Con Air has plenty of action from the moment the plane gets taken over to the final scenes.
Crime: Con Air gives us a prison escape on a plane which helps the crime side of the story.
Thriller: Con Air keeps us on edge from start to finish as we watch waiting to see if Cameron will save the day.
Settings: Con Air keeps the settings mostly on the plane with the criminals having rising tension while the scenes outside always feel desperate against the time.
Special Effects: Con Air uses great effects throughout for all the action sequences.
Suggestion: Con Air is one to switch on and just relax and enjoy. (Watch)
Best Part: Bunny.
Worst Part: Malloy is terrible character for the role he is meant to be in the DEA.
Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequence.
Favourite Quote: Garland Greene ‘Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.’
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: The Rock
Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars
Budget: $75 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
Tagline: One wrong flight can ruin your whole day
Trivia: The song “How Do I Live” was nominated for both an Oscar as Best Original Song and a Razzie as Worst Original Song. It did not win either award.
Overall: Action film that will always be one that is easy to watch.