Movie Spoiler - Con Air
We can only speculate as to why Nicholas Cage signed on to this cinematic gem. Perhaps he had a balloon payment coming due on his Bel Air mansion. Perhaps someone in Hollywood had photos of him voting Republican. Whatever the reason, Mr. Cage found himself portraying Cameron Poe, an ex-Army Ranger (why isn't the hero ever an ex-MacDonald's Fry Cook?) who hitches a ride home from prison on a plane filled with violent and witty murderers. He's been released, but he'd rather fly in handcuffs than purchase a ticket from Delta. Poe's devoted wife Buffy (not her real name, but that wan't her real hair color either) waits for him to land and rejoin the family. She was evidently too busy to stop by the prison and offer him a ride.
Anyway, the aircraft gets comandeered by evil murderous convicts, one of which has extensive flight training in jet aircraft. Ostensibly their goal is to land the plane at a deserted air field, hook up with a bad guy from another country who also has a jet plane, and while away the remainder of their lives on a pleasant tropical beach. The head bad guy, Cyrus Grissom, is played by John Malkovich. Cyrus is mad at the world, but embraces Cameron Poe like a long lost brother. He has a soft spot in his black heart for stringy haired loner convicts who speak in monotonic one-liners.
Back at Authority Central, government employees played by Colm Meany and John Cusak provide comic relief. They steal cars, attack civilian aircraft with army helicopters, lead SWAT teams into deadly ambushes, and bicker with each other while Cameron Poe single-handedly foils the bad guys' plot. Eventually Poe would have bored them all to death with his wooden delivery, but fortunately the convict-laden aircraft crash-lands on the Las Vegas strip. Much of Vegas is swept away in an extended special effects montage as Poe and Grissom battle to the death at 10 miles an hour. Poe is reunited with his family, who somehow found time to drive out to see him after his shirt is shredded and he gets all bloody. Everyone lets their guard down and hugs as the plane smolders a few feet away. Most of the good guys survive to embark on attempts at reviving their careers.
Nestled eerily in the middle of Poe's philosophical one-liners ("I only trust two people. One's me and the other's not you.") is an uber-creepy cameo from Steve Buscemi. His character, Garland 'The Marietta Mangler' Greene (all the bad guys have prison nick-names), wanders away from the carnage and enjoys afternoon tea with a 10 year-old girl in an empty swimming pool. We can only speculate how the child came to be living at an abandoned air strip in the desert, but we'd prefer to ponder rainbows and cute fluffy kittens if you don't mind.
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We learn that the really bad guys suffer the most gruesome deaths. The worst fate is always reserved for the head bad guy. He never gets shot in the head, dying before he hits the ground. Instead, he falls from an airliner at 15,000 feet or tumbles into an open flame or is forced to endure endless dialog from Cameron Poe as the two battle epically. Just once, the really really bad guy should keel over from a stroke.
We learn that no matter how secure a prison flight might be, there's always room to smuggle on a hand gun, which will inevitably fall into the wrong hands.
We learn that the Las Vegas strip doubles as a convenient landing strip for passenger airliners.
We learn that no matter how devoted and blond your wife might be, she still prefers that you fly home from prison with murderers and thieves rather than hook you up with a plane ticket.
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