The Rock Reviews
After a decade of hit and miss films for Cage he was handed a golden role for his quirky side, playing a pretty basic sidekick but to good effect.
The cast in this film is exceptional and keeps the film rewatchable even if you dislike Michael Bay.
His style is evident here and the film has aged due to his fast editing technic, it is jarring at times. The soundtrack is over the top greatness that does not let up.
For all its faults this is easily Michael Bay's best film. It is an over the top big budget spectacle and if you can turn your brain off, just sit back and enjoy.
This is the best action movie with mediocre action. It's endlessly quotable(I found that out the hard way) and succeeds purely because of its talented cast of actors and Bay's solid direction(blasphemy, I know). Mason and Goodspeed are the driving force of this movie and elevate it from average at best, to freaking awesome. The action is passable and will please the majority of audiences but that isn't the reason to see the movie.
A sentence I never figured I'd have to say when referring a Michael Bay movie is 'The story for this film is well written, concise and provides clear motivations for all its characters'. The premise of setting a movie like this on Alcatraz is genius and Bay builds a genuinely good story around that. There is a first time for everything, and this was apparently also his last.
Nicholas Cage is both the best and worst actor in existence simultaneously. He's mental but mental in a way were he's not annoying like Travolta and not intentionally funny like Carrey. He's Nicholas Cage and no one can take that away from him, and that is the reason he was great in this movie as a man pushed to the brink of his sanity. Sean Connery(you just read that in his voice) clearly uses his period as Bond to sell the character of John Mason and anyone that says Mason is anything less than a freaking bad ass is kidding themselves. Ed Harris was brilliant as General Hummel and provided a layered, interesting performance. Hummel was smart, interesting and intimidating, and made a great adversary for the two leads. My main issue with the movie is an aspect of the villain. I won't spoil as to what but I figured it best to mention it, even if you don't know specifically why.
The effects in this movie are atrocious but I cannot blame them for that and don't hold it against them. John Schwartzmen shoots the movie very well and the movie was also very well lit. I have issues with some of the editing but not to the point were it actively annoyed me throughout the run time. Both the set design and the costume design were pretty bland. Setting the movie on Alcatraz was genius but I feel they could have done more with the sets.
The action is this movie is fine. The comedy is fine. The dialogue is good. The characters are fantastic and amazing and incredible and are the main reason I recommend you see this movie. They are all so likable and elevate the movie from good to great and for that I congratulate them. I highly recommend this movie, and I'll rate it 9 Concerned Hairdressers out of 10.