DVD Review: Face/Off Special Collector’s Edition

Paramount Home Entertainment

Face/Off stars John Travolta as Sean Archer, a driven FBI agent whose son was killed by Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage), a terrorist that now lies in a coma.

Sean is now trying to find a bomb that is hidden in L.A. The FBI is looking for some way to infiltrate Troy’s crew of McNasties when an unusual plan is hatched: Using a rather unusual procedure, Sean will assume the face of Castor. He will then assume his identity and join the gang.

Now nothing in life is easy so of course there are complications. Troy wakes up and assumes Sean’s identity. So Sean is hanging out with Troy’s crew, Troy is hanging with…Sean’s wife and daughter.

John Travolta always seems to have fun when playing the main scumbag and this is no different. And this is a good think since Nicholas Cage as a good gut generally makes me drowsy…and this is no exception.

Face/Off was John Woo’s second Hollywood flick. While better than Broken Arrow, Face/Off does have a similar feel. The fights are very stylish and there are enough explosions for five films, but too much of a good thing is possible and I found myself becoming numb to the many gunfights that were seemingly choreographed by the Joffrey Ballet Company.

Overall, Face/Off is entertaining if you are simply looking for an action flick with novel twist (the changing of personas). Woo has never been a favorite of mine, and I am pretty sure that Nicholas Cage sold his soul (or at least his acting skills) to the devil for Leaving Las Vegas, but I enjoyed Face/off a little more than most of the bombastic action flicks that roll off the Hollywood assembly line today.

Many times, a film is repackaged as a “special edition” or “collector’s edition” with three of four eight-minute featurettes and little more. This is not the case here, as Face/Off is chocked full of nifty stuff.

There are seven deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary. Honestly none of these are going to wow you too much. Nothing is here that would have added anything to the film.

We are also treated to a five part series entitled The Light and the Dark: Making Face/Off. These clock in at a total of just over one hour and gives us a look behind the film with storyboards, breakdowns of special effects and interviews with cast and crew. Very interesting and worth watching.

Another is John Woo in pictures, this is a twenty some minute documentary about Mr. Woo. Nothing here that his hardcore fans won’t know but it does do a decent job of summing up his career.
And Last but not least we get a pair of commentaries. One with Woo and John Woo and co-writers Michael Colleary and Mike Werb, the other with just the two writers. Both are good enough, the one with Woo obviously is a broader look at the making while other focuses more on the story and the characters.

Jeremy Lynch

Order Face/Off from Amazon.

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.