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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Film - Con Air - Action thriller starring Nicholas Cage and John Malkovich (released in 1997)

The movie marks the 1997 directorial debut of Simon West, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (The Rock). Con Air, the name borrows inspiration from the JPATS (Justice Alien and Prison Transportation System), the largest prison transport network. Nicholas Cage (Face Off, The Rock) plays Gulf War veteran Cameron Poe, who returns home to his wife, pregnant with their first child, and who ends up killing a drunken man who assaults her- this lands him in a maximum security prison.
Eight years down the line, he is being let off for good conduct. He nervously looks forward to meeting his daughter - the child he’s never seen before. Flying on a C-123, the Jailbird will take him home to Alabama. His co-passengers include Mike "Baby-O" O'Dell, the vicious Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom, along with his   right-hand man, Nathan "Diamond Dog" Jones - they are being transported to another penitentiary. 
Also on the plane is the Drug Enforcement Agent Duncan Malloy, who gets another agent Willie Sims on board, in guise of a prisoner; unbeknownst to the others, Malloy arms Sims with a gun. Their aim is to get the transported drug lord Francisco Cindino to divulge more information about his operations; the US Marshal Larkin (John Cusack, America’s Sweethearts) on board agrees, unaware that there is a weapon on the person of the agent.
Cyrus (John Malkovich, In the Line of Fire) provokes his fellow passengers to riot; they end up hijacking the Jailbird. Pretending to befriend him, Poe plants a recording device on one of the guards, who would be off loaded in Carson City, dressed as a prisoner. The aircraft is now manned by “Swamp Thing”, with Cindino, the master mind close at heel. Cyrus commands Joe "Pinball" Parker, to get rid of the transponder telling plant it on another plane. But just as the Jailbird is airborne, the guards discover the device Poe had planted, and they alert Malloy and Larkin.

Joe Parker meets a gory end as his body is lodged in the landing gear when the plane takes off - but not before Poe sends in a note to Larkin telling him about what’s going to take place. The Marshal alerts the National Guard to go to Lerner Airfield, an abandoned airbase. Meanwhile, Poe’s identity and intentions are discovered by Billy Bedlam, who had found the parole letter, thus revealing the fact that Poe was the traitor amongst them - he ends up dying at the hands of Poe.
The  plane lands at the airfield but goes off the runway - skidding to halt in sand, next to a tank of propane.
Cindino had planned for his jet to already be there - but seeing that it isn’t, the Virus commands everyone to start digging into the sand to free the plane. Marshal Larkin makes it to the scene, preventing Cindino and his minions from escaping, when the Virus gets to know how Cindino duped him - he kills the drug lord.
An ambush is evaded as Larkin helps the Guardsmen - all the other prisoners return to the Jailbird, including Cyrus – who discovers the true intent of Poe, he tries to get even by shooting Poe’s friend Mike Baby’O.
The transponder helps Malloy track the aircraft, ordering it to land in Las Vegas, but lack of fuel causes it to crash land at The Strip. Cyrus is killed by a pounder at a construction site, as are his pals Swamp and Jones.
Poe is reunited with Casey and his wife, all’s well that ends well, or like Baby ‘O said –‘God’s got my back’.
Almost ten different aircrafts were used while filming the movie. It has a wonderful soundtrack, especially the song “How Do I Live Without You” (which was nominated for an Oscar in 1997) is hauntingly lovely!
The audiences worldwide received the film well- its current approval rating is 55% on Rotten Tomatoes- it is an action-packed entertaining thriller, worth a second watch!

Film - Con Air - Action thriller starring Nicholas Cage and John Malkovich (released in 1997)

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