Face/Off (1997) - 6 stars out of 10
“Face/Off” is a truly unique film. Conceptually, the idea of trading identities has been around for a long time but John Woo gives it an entirely new spin. While the technology to remove a person’s face and reconnect it to another with working nerve endings (and it properly fitting) is far-fetched, we all want to buy into this one. This story could have easily gone unnoticed but it piqued the interest of the critics with interesting performances by John Travolta and Nicholas Cage. I use the word “interesting” because each actor had to portray completely opposite personalities. The true compliment to the acting in this film is the fact that we completely buy into the identity change, easily believing that each actor has traded faces with the other. Even though both Travolta and Cage can be hit or miss with acting, they both nailed these roles and it is easy to believe that they have traded faces. Although the lead performances are worthy of our attention, the film does have its faults. The film is definitely longer than it needs to be to develop the characters and resolve the plot, and there are a few too many cheesy things thrown in at the wrong times. But other than that, the action is good and it does a good job of realistically resolving this seemingly impossible conflict. “Face/Off” isn’t my top action film, but it’s worth watching for its unique plot elements and interesting performances by its leads.