The Rock (1996)

One from the Brendan DVD library. Brendan tells me this is the greatest action film ever made. He is, of course, wrong about this (the correct answer is The Killer by John Woo) as he is about a number of things, though I will concede it’s not a bad effort… We have here a rogue Marine general pissed off, rightly or wrongly, at the shabby treatment of the families of men who’ve died on missions under his command, and his form of protest is, rightly or wrongly, to storm Alcatraz and point gas-filled missiles at San Francisco. Only Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery can save the day! After a beginning I thought was kind of weak (too long setup), it settles into more of a groove once Connery’s former British agent is sprung from jail to assist in the war effort (with hindsight, of course, the actual use of the words “war on terror” in this film comes with chilling apparent prescience); Connery really is the main draw for me in this film cos he has obvious fun with his character. I was less enthused by Cage, whose transformation from humble chemicals specialist into mighty man of action when needs must never entirely convinced me; either the role needed a more everyman actor or the character should’ve been made a bit more extreme to suit Cage. I wish a bit more had been done with Ed Harris’ general, who turns out to not exactly be the standard action movie villain. On the whole, though, it’s not bad, given that we are dealing here with a mid-90s Big Fucking Hollywood Blow Shit Up And Kill People Popcorn Blockbuster. Probably more fun at the cinema, though.

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