The Rock Reviews
Saw it again! Great action film and ton's of great scenes! The movie really is thrilling and entertaining, of course it's a Michael Bay film! The story is quite good and well made, great cast for a great action movie.
A group of rogue Force Recon Marines led by the heroic but disenchanted Brigadier General Francis Hummel (Ed Harris) seizes a stockpile of rockets armed with VX gas, a highly toxic chemical weapon, from a Naval Weapons Depot. They lose one of their men in the process, a horrific death caused by an accidental release of the chemical caused when one of the chemical containers accidentally ruptured.
Hummel and his men then seize Alcatraz Island and take 81 tourists hostage, placing them in the prison cells, then threatening the FBI and Pentagon with launching the VX rockets against the population of San Francisco, unless the government pays ransom and reparations to the families of Marines who died on illegal, clandestine Marine Force Recon missions that were commanded by General Hummel. The Pentagon and FBI develop a plan to retake the island with an elite Navy SEAL team, enlisting chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) to help remove the VX and disarm the rockets.
In need of reliable first-hand knowledge of the physical layout of Alcatraz, FBI Director Womack (John Spencer) is forced to turn to long-time federal prisoner John Mason (Sean Connery), the only former inmate of Alcatraz to ever successfully escape. Mason isn't given the complete story about why his help is needed, so, being a proven escape artist, he escapes from the FBI and leads them on a high-speed chase through the streets of San Francisco. Because he decides to make contact with his estranged daughter, Goodspeed and the FBI catch up with him and force him to cooperate on the mission.
With Mason's guidance, the team successfully infiltrates Alcatraz undetected, but as they work their way through the tunnels of Alcatraz and enter the shower room, their presence is detected by sophisticated equipment set up by Hummel's men. To the dismay of General Hummel, the SEAL team is ambushed by the marines, leaving only Mason and Goodspeed alive. With Mason deciding to leave the island, Goodspeed must reveal the true purpose of the mission. Realizing his daughter's life is at risk, Mason agrees to stay and help.
They begin the process of seeking out and disabling the rockets one-by-one, but Hummel and the marines make it very difficult for them. They disable the first rocket after a fight with two marines. Then, with Hummel threatening to execute a civilian, Mason decides to provide a diversion for Goodspeed by giving himself up. Goodspeed is able to disable the second rocket just before he is captured. Meanwhile, realizing that the SEAL team is lost, the Pentagon readies a backup plan, an attack by armed F-18s that will neutralize the poison gas by releasing thermite plasma bombs, which would also kill everyone on the island.
As Mason is fashioning a rope of bedding to make use of in effecting his and Goodspeed's escape from their cells, he tells Goodspeed why he has been a prisoner of the United States for the past 33 years. During his service for the British as an SAS agent, he stole a microfilm containing serious secrets about U.S. and other world leaders and events. The information came from the personal files of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Mason was captured and refused to divulge the location of the microfilm. He was kept locked up, without benefit of trial, and told he would not be released until he gave up the microfilm. Realizing he would be "suicided" if he ever did that, he refused.
After they escape from the cells, Mason again decides to leave the island, leaving Goodspeed to go it alone. Goodspeed is captured before he can find another rocket, but he's rescued by Mason, who decided to come back.
The deadline Hummel gave the FBI/Pentagon arrives, and when there is no ransom paid and more time requested, Hummel's officers demand he take action. Hummel orders a rocket fired. It's headed for a full stadium at Candlestick Park, but Hummel secretly enters revised coordinates on his computer keyboard and redirects the rocket so that if falls into the ocean. His men are furious. They consider themselves mercenaries working for pay, and they want their pay, or to make good on the threats. Hummel tells them that it was a bluff that the government didn't fall for it, and since he's a professional soldier, not a murderer, that it's all over. He tells his men to take some hostages and leave, that he'd take the heat for it all.
The men refuse. They intend to follow through. Guns are pulled and pointed all around. As shots are fired, General Hummel and Major Baxter are fatally wounded. With his last breath, Hummel tells Goodspeed that the last rocket is in the lower lighthouse.
Mason and Goodspeed must fight off other marines as Goodspeed works to disable that last rocket. As Goodspeed is handling that final string of green VX "marbles", one of them drops on the deck. He retrieves it, but doesn't have time to stash it away with the rest before Captain Frye (Gregory Sporleder) is on him. With the termite plasma-armed jets approaching, Goodspeed is losing his hand-to-hand fight with Frye and must use that VX to defend himself. He shoves it in the captain's mouth and forces his jaw shut, crushing it and releasing the contents. Captain Frye dies almost instantly. The liquid also gets on Goodspeed and he immediately stumbles away and pulls the atropine antidote from his boot and injects himself in the heart with it. He is then able to grab and light off two green flares, the prearranged signal that the threat is over. The flares are spotted from land, but only after one of the jet pilots has released his bombs, exploding on the rear of the island and sending Goodspeed's body flying into the sea.
Mason reappears to pull the unconscious Goodspeed to shore. Special Agent Ernest Paxton (William Forsythe) calls on the radio and learns from Goodspeed that the hostages were all alive, but that Mason had been killed. That provides Mason time to escape before the FBI arrives. Goodspeed tells Paxton and Womack that Mason was "vaporized."
The film ends with Goodspeed running from a church in Ft. Walton, Kansas, as Carla, his pregnant bride, urges him to hurry and get in the car so they can get away. Goodspeed has in his hand a cannister containing microfilm. Mason had told him where to find it. He looks at the microfilm and asks Carla if she'd like to know who really shot JFK.
this is the third time i have watched it and still love it!!!
The story is a little shakey, but it's not terrible though. The actions scenes are exciting, well done, and the performances are also rather enjoyable, especially Connery. He and Cage have a decent rapport with one another.
I like this movie, but in a way it kind of represents both the best and the worst of 90s action films, kind of like how "Commando" is for the 80s. I do like the location shooting, though. Alcatraz is awesome.
The story is (as ever) basic! A disgruntled veteran (Ed Harris) feels the government has done him wrong despite his service to the country and decides to hold the city of San Francisco to ransom by taking over Alcatraz and using it as a base to launch a chemical attack on it's innocent citizens. The Government feels he's a loon-ball and decides to enlist the help of F.B.I chemical weapons expert (Cage) and a team of marines to put a stop to the lunacy. None of them have have a clue how to infiltrate Alcatraz so persuade a former British agent (Connery) - the only person to ever escape Alcatraz and currently being held by the Americans - to help out and earn his freedom in return. What then ensues is...you guessed it...big guns, big explosions and mucho machismo.
This is all done under the guidance of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, so I suppose you can't really complain when things get silly and over the top. I'm not a great action fan but I can recognise it for what it is and this isn't too bad, considering. The three leads involved, Connery, Cage & Harris are what make this film. They are all fine actors and deliver worthy performances. Connery is one of very few actors that can cut being old and still able to be convincing as an action hero (Clint Eastwood being a recognisable other). Cage shows his early action man credentials, while still retaining his wacky humorous side and Harris, as always, is intensely commanding. They all seem to have their tongues stuck firmly in their cheeks and in it for the healthy paychecks. They know and we know, that this is complete nonsense but hey, there's fun to be had anyway.
If you ever get the sudden notion to bang your head against a big Rock, don't bother. Bang your head against this one instead. It almost has the same effect but this one's slightly more gentle. Just slightly, mind you.
I loved it. All those wonderful action films set the trend and lots of great stars made their marks, or made their comebacks, and of course, directors like Michael Bay got their feet into the big leagues.
The Rock is a really unique piece, because it had Nicholas Cage in his action heyday, a re-energised Sean Connery still showing he's got all the moves and charisma, and an all star supporting cast led by the dominant Ed Harris in one of his best roles.
This one also had some of the best action scenes, plus its moving momements, a la' Michael Bay style. This includes the never-will-be-done-again Humvee and Ferrari chase destroying San Francisco, the centrepiece of the whole movie, alongside the Marine's mexican standoff / mutiny.
I think it has stood the test time along with the others... it just that with the new millenium, we, as an audience have moved into the more intelligent action thriller genre, which has no problems drawing in the crowd. Bad Boys II was the last of its kind, a rollercoaster ride into the warzone where ever it may be.
Sighs*..... the 90's action masterpieces.
The ending with Harris turning right at the end was decent and original, you thought he would go out guns blazing.