Film Scouts Reviews

"The Rock"

by Benjamin Ibrahim

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The Rock drips the grease of Hollywood so heavily that it is almost endearing, almost kitsch. The summer blockbuster is becoming one of my favorite genres. Ed Harris, ever the military man, comes up on the bad side this time, as Brigadier General Francis X, who's got a bone to pick with the U.S. government about... restitution? ...or was it recognition? No... What was it? Reconnaissance? It doesn't matter. But anyways, he takes over Alcatraz (THE ROCK) with a whole bunch of men, captures a bunch of tourists, and threatens to bomb San Francisco with chemical missiles. Man, he must have been ticked off about something. Restitution? Retribution...? Reconstruction? Anyway, for the good guys, we have Nicolas Cage as an FBI chemical-weapons expert (and chronic shouter of the word "A-hole"), and Sean Connery, also on the good side, even though he starts out as a life-sentence convict with long hair. But that doesn't last long (the country's in peril), so once he's trimmed, shaved, and elegant again, he's back in action as "John Patrick Mason", the only guy with a Scottish accent to ever escape from Alcatraz (THE ROCK) - and actually, he's a really nice guy, for a hardened criminal. And together with Nicolas Cage, or "Stanley Goodspeed" for short, they run around and have a pretty touching time getting to know each other in the tunnels of Alcatraz (THE ROCK), fighting the heavily-armed bad guys. Although somewhat lacking in the plot department, its a pretty fun movie, if you enjoy over-the-top reprocessing of clichés and stereotypes.

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