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Review by Andrew Manning (11/97)

Release: 1997, Buena Vista
Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Steve Buscemi
Director: Simon West
MPAA Rating: [R] violence, language
Genre: Action


Cameron Poe (Cage) is a U. S. ranger sent to prison for killing a man in defense of his wife. On the day of his parole, he is sent to rejoin his wife and daughter onboard a plane transporting the most evil prison inmates around. During the flight, the inmates, led by "Cyrus the Virus" (Malkovich), gain control of the plane, and it's up to Poe to kick ass.


Con Air doesn't pretend to be a high-brow action flick: it's out and out ass kicking, and it succeeds brilliantly as such. Cage does well as the gallant misunderstood hero type, humanized by his desire to rejoin his family and his protective nature for his best friend and a female prison guard, both onboard the plane with him.


Buscemi's role as Hannibal Lecter squared is a really forced cameo for the sole purpose of getting a few cheap laughs. Poe's justification for murder could have been reinforced more if his wife was actually in physical danger before the street brawl that led him to kill.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (0=Abysmal, 5=Average, 10=Excellent)

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