This film is more then just a movie but also has in it a message about war and its effects and its consequences, especially those surrounding illegal Black Ops missions. It shows how sometimes those heroes are forgotten and how they are shoved to the way side just to save face in the world’s public view. It show just how things can go horribly wrong when a man of honor crosses the line in the name of honor to save the families of those that have fallen. Message aside the film is also very good, no matter what the Michael Bay critics might say. It is full of action, good dialog and is actually quite believable in what they show in the film. Nothing Sci-Fi about this one, just plain old fashioned explosive action to keep you entertained throughout the movie.
Now there is more then just action in here as well, you also have an underlying romantic connection as well as one of father love to see that his daughter is growing safe and secure. The romantic connection is that the main character, Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), a biochemist who works for the FBI, has a girlfriend Carla Pestalozzi (Vanessa Marcil). He just has had a really bad day at work, almost was contaminated with a bio agent that would kill in the most horrible of ways, and is telling it all to his gal and how could any one want to have kids when she lays the big on one him. She is pregnant and wants to get married. It is during the “married” discussion that he gets a call that he is needed in San Francisco immediately. Stanley tells Carla that it is probably just a training exercise and to meet him there later to see how everything is alright.
Nothing could be further from the truth about everything being alright. General Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris) and his team have stolen VX Gas from a secure facility as well as rockets that can deploy the gas. He plans on making sure that the United States gets the message about conferring medals and paying benefits to the families of soldiers that have fallen during illegal Black Ops missions. He is pissed and has a cause and is not going to back down. To make sure that his threat is taken seriously he takes over The Rock, Alcatraz Island and sets it up as a staging ground and launch platform for the gas and missiles that he has stolen. So that the military doesn’t just bomb him and his men off the face of the earth he also takes 81 tourists hostage. He knows that this is a do or die mission and he is going to see it to the end. He does state that money is to be exchanged but only so that he can pay his men and the families of lost fallen soldiers and friends.
The reason Hummel chose Alcatraz Island was that it would be easily defensible from attack and that he would be able to see anything that would be coming toward him. He believes that there is no way for anyone to be able to sneak onto the island without him being able to know about it. What he doesn’t know is that there was a person who had successfully escaped the prison island before. John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), a former a former MI6 Agent and Captain of the British SAS, was once a “guest” at The Rock and managed to break out and find a way off the island undetected. He is the only person alive that might be able to get a team into and on the island to take out Hummel and his men. The threat of over 5 million lives lost cause two men who want to leave Mason forgotten to consider using Mason. FBI Director Womack (John Spencer) and the Chief Justice (Philip Baker Hall) argue over to use Mason and realize that they really have no choice in the matter. Womack is worried that Mason will escape again and might come and kill him for keeping him captive for so many years with out a trial.
Now I said there was a father daughter connection in the film and it is when Mason escapes from the hotel he goes to meet his daughter that he had after escaping The Rock. Her name is Jade Angelou (Claire Forlani) and Mason wants to make sure that she is well and ok so that he can some how mend the relationship between them. He tells her that she is the only proof that he has even existed and wants to make something of it. As he is telling her this Goodspeed and a host of police cars come in to arrest him and take him back to HQ. That is after a wild disaster filled car chase through the streets of San Fran with Mason in a Hummer H1 and Stanley in a “barrowed” Ferrari. They even trash a trolley and several ill fated VW Bugs and other cars and telephone polls with just about every jump and turn. It is one wild ride to watch to be sure.
This is a film that keeps you well entertained throughout the film. Sure people will pick it apart but those that do are really not in a mood to just enjoy the film as they are stuck on cracked windshields and the fact that it is a Michael Bay film. I tell them to get over it and just enjoy a great ride with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage in what is a very fun film to watch.
I give this film a Musing review of