Is Con Air the weirdest action movie ever made?

Unusually for this kind of picture, Rosenberg ended up winning – despite trying to quit the film “like, 14 times” – not least because Cage, who was never an actor to shy away from absurdity , became enthralled with a motif that would become one of the film’s funniest jokes, in the form of a toy rabbit that Poe intends to take home as a present for his daughter, regardless of the consequences. At one point, after committing an act of appalling violence towards one of the villainous inmates, Poe solemnly reflects, “Oh, why didn’t you put the rabbit back in the box?”

Character and humor were subordinated to a big Bruckheimer epic climax, however, in which the plane crashes in Las Vegas. The original intention was to destroy the White House, but a similar scene on Independence Day the previous year put the kibosh on the idea; it helped that the Sands Hotel and Casino had been slated for demolition, and with commendable maximalism, West and Bruckheimer blew up the hotel for real, killing two birds with one huge rock. Rosenberg, however, remains disappointed with the film‘s ending, saying “I don’t remember how I killed Cyrus originally, but I know it was better”, but acknowledges that it fit the film’s absurd baroque. As he conceded: “At that time, nothing was too crazy.”

The film was a box office hit (although it didn’t do as much as The Rock or Face/Off), established West as a go-to action movie director, and cemented Bruckheimer’s grip. on the genre of summer blockbusters. Yet now, 25 years later, it seems a surprisingly odd picture, the bastard child of dumb and snarky action movie cliches, more subversive, and still entertaining: the very model of a guilty pleasure. As West said in a 2017 Daily Telegraph interview: “Con Air had a very small group of people – Scott and I had a very big influence on what was in the film, and what it was about. looked like, and what it looked like, and who was in there. It was done on a large canvas but it had more of that indie film feel.

He was fully aware of the film’s humor, perhaps more so than the producer. “We were about to cover up the jokes, saying, ‘Okay, it’s an action movie, but if you look closely, there’s a lot of humor in it. ““But West thinks that was the last fight for that kind of nonsensical image. . As he correctly conceded: “I don’t think the genre would have anyone as eccentric as Nic Cage now.” The rabbit, alas, remains firmly in the box. Time will tell if he ever reappears in such an unbalanced fashion – or without a cage.


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