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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday December 13, 2019 


Cameron Poe (Cage) is a decent young soldier, dancing at a bar with his wife; a thug tries to cut in, heís sent away. Pissed off, he waits with two mates to ambush the young couple by their isolated car. In the fight that ensues, Cameron shows his military training and dispenses with all three, inadvertently killing one. Heís jailed for 7 to 10. While inside, his daughter is born, but she is never allowed to see her daddy in prison. On his way home, just in time for her 8
th birthday, he rejects the bus option in favour of a quicker one: the flight that is transferring some of the worst offenders between prisons. The tight security fails to stop an evil plan to kidnap the plane and Cameronís date with his baby daughter is put on ice while the scum of the earth are getting away with the crime of their lives, but for one determined dad . . .

"Beginning with one of those set-ups that cast the US justice system as a poor manís Inquisition, we are left with no choice but to barrack for Cameron Poe (Cage), who turns out to be a snaggy action hero. The surprise is that he isnít as mad as hell at the system that jails him for eight years when one of three thugs who ambush him on the way to trying to rape his wife gets killed in the fight. The judgeís pompous remarks at the trial should have got the judge a smack in the mouth and a permanent disbarment. But I digressÖ.well, no I donít, because this is how manipulative the film is all the way through. You get mean mothers being so mean as to be almost caricatures - and Buscemiís softly spoken neo-cannibal crim-weirdo IS a caricature - and you get Malkovich being malovelantich extremis, and all the while youíve got Cage being a cagey sort of goodguy saving diabetics from death and women from rape in the air, and the young Marshall Larkin (Cusack) on the ground who has to deal with a demented, trigger happy dickhead from the DEA (Dept of Emptyheaded Arseholes) and so youíve really got two heroes, while back home, the blonde wife and the little girl whoís never seen her daddy are waiting, and you KNOW heís gonna make it to finally cuddle her on her birthday (after a long delay and destructive detour), because he tells us so half way through the film. I swear. But I loved it."
Andrew L. Urban

"Con Air is a blast. A superbly made film with a fast-paced witty script, a likeable rogue hero and evil characters so imaginatively concocted that we love to embrace them. This is great escapism with extravagant special effects and a plot which embraces good versus evil, love, loyalty, hatred and greed. Nicolas Cage is a great hero - not too perfect, yet full of integrity, wanting "to save the day". His character is so firmly established, that we are rooting for him from the start. Just as well, because the villains are fascinating. The kind that we love to hate. Malkovich, of course, excels at these demented psycho roles (his best is still Dangerous Liaisons); Buscemi, as Andrew says, is a caricature - and a memorable one; the group of big ugly brutes is effective enough to have the viewer rubbing hands in glee - the more imaginatively hideous and evil the baddies, the more satisfying their demise. (You get the feeling that Scott Rosenberg really enjoyed creating these evil brutes.) We know from the beginning that our hero will overcome the odds, but that doesnít stop us enjoying the ride with Con Air, with its swag of fast lines, evil delivery and fantastic big bangs. Interesting to note that the flight (ironically for Cage) ends in Las Vegas, in a wildly, colourful spectacle. Guaranteed to be a success, Con Air offers star-power and action in a package full of integrity."
Louise Keller

"OK guys, this is the kind of action flick Hollywood does well. Explosions? They're here by the truckload. Blokes doing blokey things with testosterone in every macho pore. Con Air is an action pic that bursts and explodes with true cinematic flair. Nicolas Cage goes from being drunk in Las Vegas to the least likely of action heroes, emitting droll one-liners with a sly glibness. For every action flick you need a villain, and this movie has a plane load of them, but by far and way, the guy who steals the show is head villain John Malkovich, snarling and heavying his way into some of the best pieces of screen villainy of recent memory. This is not simply an average action picture. Sure, there are plenty of dead bodies and the usually loud noise that comes with any Jerry Brukheimer film (he's the guy who produced last year's The Rock), but with Con Air, he's got some great male talent to help propel the film into being a real hoot. An action flick which has an intelligent, witty script? It doesn't happen very often, but Con Air is very much in a class of its own."
Paul Fischer

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"Malkovich is being malovelantich extremis"

"Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage)... a snaggy action hero"

John Cusack


CAST: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Mykelti Williamson, Rachel Ticotin, Monica Potter, Dave Chappelle, M.C. Gainey, John Roselius, Renoly, Danny Trejo, Jesse Borrego, Nick Chinlund, Angela Featherstone, Jose Zuniga, Landry Allbright

DIRECTOR: Simon West

PRODUCER: Jerry Bruckheimer

SCRIPT: Scott Rosenberg


EDITOR: Chris Lebenzon, Steve Mirkovich, Glen Scantlebury

MUSIC: Mark Mancina, Trevor Rabin


RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes



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