Top 365 Films – #167 – Con Air (1997)

Top 365 Films - Con AirDIRECTED BY: Simon West

STARRING: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Ving Rhames, Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo, Mykelti Williamson, Rachel Ticotin, Colm Meaney, Dave Chappelle, Nick Chinlund, M. C. Gainey, Landry Allbright and Monica Potter

BUDGET: $75m

EARNED (Worldwide): $224m

AWARDS: None (2 Oscar Nominations for Best Sound and Best Original Song)



A newly released ex-con and former US Ranger finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.


Con Air centers on Cameron Poe, a highly decorated US Army Ranger, who ends up being sent to a federal penitentiary for involuntary manslaughter for seven years after killing a man while defending his wife against a group of drunken regulars where she works. We fast forward to the day Cameron becomes eligible for parole and on his way back home to his wife and daughter. Unfortunately for Poe he shares a prison plane with the country’s most dangerous criminals, who take control of the plane and plan to escape the country. Poe must find a way to stop them and get back to his family.


The plot, the characters, that Cage hair, there’s a lot of things going for Con Air here and I still manage to find it entertaining as when I first watched it. Where Cage well full Cage in Face/Off, here he tones it down to serious mode which blends well as the other prisoners bring the villainy with the likes of Ving Rhames, Nick Chinlund and especially main antagonist played by John Malkovich. The fact they have these character actors in the convict roles on board the plane gives the film a sense of credibility, especially when you watch the film now and see where the actors have ended up since the films release and the film has a nice momentum to it and keeps cranking out the ridiculousness in the action sequences to keep it amusing/interesting for the viewers (how can you not enjoy Malkovich threatening to shoot a toy bunny?). The performances are entertaining, as is the action and is an enjoyable popcorn action flick that hasn’t outstayed its welcome for me.


FAVOURITE SCENE: Cyrus ‘The Virus’ threatens to shoot a bunny…nuff said.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.’ – Garland Greene

DID YOU KNOW?: John Malkovich was unhappy during production because the script was being rewritten virtually every day and he had no idea how his character was going to turn out. John Cusack dislikes this film so much that he refuses to be interviewed about it.

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