Con Air

After the bittersweet experience of revisiting the “Spider-Man” trilogy, I needed something to take my mind off things. What better than a brainless Bruckheimer flick starring Nic Cage?

Con Air (1997)

These days action films are generally regarded as “trash”- the type of films aimed at chavs and the fathers of chavs. However, the people who dismiss action are normally pretentious wankers who don’t have anything better to do. Y’know- the type of people you want to punch in the face repeatedly for being so up their own arses.

“Beautiful? Sunsets are beautiful, newborn babies are beautiful. This… this is fucking spectacular!”

The film starts with Army Ranger Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) getting locked up for manslaughter. We get a short montage involving Poe working out and corresponding with his young daughter. Yes, it’s that sort of film. Suddenly, it’s seven years later and Poe is being released. He’s catching a flight home with the World’s most psychotic criminals. Nothing could possibly go wrong, right? Inevitably, the criminals seize control and it’s up to our ridiculously wigged hero to save the day. I get the feeling that this film would be one big sandwich of average if it weren’t for John Malkovich and Steve Buscemi. Actually-that’s a bit unfair as the constantly underrated John Cusack is fantastic as the verbose Vince Larkin.

They say that a film is nothing without a decent villain. You know what? They- whoever “they” may be are right. I mean, would “Star Wars” have been as awesome as it is without Darth Vader? Would “The Dark Knight” have been as awesome without the Joker? Definitely not. “Con Air” has two great villains in the forms of Cyrus The Virus and Garland Greene (played by Malkovich and Buscemi respectively). Whilst I’m not saying that they’re on the same as the Sith Lord or the Clown Prince of Crime, they are memorable enough to actually add some “oomph” to proceedings.

Let’s just get this out of the way. “Con Air” is dumber than a bag of hammers. The refreshing thing is that it’s fully aware of this. You only have to look at the slow motion shot of Nic Cage running away from a feckin’ huge explosion to know this. It’s nice to see a film do this without slipping into parody. There are silly bits too- the slow motion (noticing a trend here?) shot of Poe getting off the bus and flinging back his long hair whilst smiling looks like its been stolen from the L’Oreal ad agency. Plus, Cyrus’ death (I suppose this is a spoiler, but if you can’t figure out that the bad guy dies in this sort of film you need serious help) is ridiculously over-the-top, even for a Hollywood boomfest.

“[“Sweet Home Alabama” plays in background]
Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash”

So all in all, “Con Air” is really enjoyable. It’s got some great action, funny lines and is probably the genesis of the Nicolas Cage silly wig era. It’s the perfect popcorn flick, simple as that. Take that, you pretentious bastards!


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