The Rock Reviews
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.
When we see that there are contingency plans in place for some outcomes, that we haven't thought through but could work to outsource our service to those unseen and unnoticeable that our system creates those whom are in and out hidden and seen under a greater systems eye.
When we are asked for loyalty to serve a higher power whom we see and can not see when we put them under watchful eye hidden that we know we see would cost us a lot. When we see the the world's greatest power and wealthiest asked us to serve them we see our services don't come cheap. When we see that their are lives at stake, to see to their safety.
When somethings we don't see that we think we see, we just know why we see it that way when governments have other plans when safeguarding and protecting somethings that we make room for other things to save money, good eyes & resources on the ground.
When we see such measures are in place but if they fall into wrong hands, turn against us, or become devided into what they see is right, we can compromise this country and what it stands for when it gets out. When we don't see what secrets our great powers keep from us when they are hidden, waiting to be unearthed when time comes.
Though it lacks a considerable amount of substance compared to other action films, The Rock is still a suitably explosive and fun thriller that will keep most audiences engaged.
Whilst 'The Rock' may have some good action scenes (and some not so good ones) and an excellent score, it suffers with story, characters, logic and just about everything else. The acting is passable, but unless you find yourself enjoying non-stop, no stakes action, then I'd recommend skipping this one.
It doesn't hurt that The Rock has the best cast that Michael Bay has ever worked with. Sean Connery proves he hasn't lost a step as he is easily one of the most intimidating characters in the film. He delivers iconic lines with such ease that he puts other actors to shame. Nicolas Cage is reined in enough that his style of crazy makes the character more engaging, but not totally insane. Ed Harris is the linchpin of the film, though. The portrayal of this General who truly believes in what he is doing, but also has a secret reluctance to go through with the darker aspects of it, could have been ruined if it wasn't done right. Harris sells it completely.
I'm willing to admit that there are aspects of The Rock that are extremely far-fetched. However, this is the type of action film that is allowed some stretches in logic, and I don't even think about it when I'm watching. The story takes me on a ride and I enjoy it from start to finish. There might even be some segments of the movie that could be trimmed down or removed (particularly before the team infiltrates The Rock.) But I value the opportunity to engage with these characters more in order to learn about their personalities. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I can understand what might make some people hate this or even equate it with Michael Bay's other terrible films, but I'm willing to overlook those flaws and even credit them as positives. This is one of those movies I haven't seen in years, and yet I still love it like I did the first time.