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Con Air (1997) Review



Con Air is one of the best films of the 90’s and remains one of my all-time favourite movies. If you don’t like it then I’m afraid we can’t be friends.

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

Review: Well, today is July 14th and anyone who is a fan of this movie knows fine well what that means so what better day to do a review?

Even back when I saw the first epic teaser trailer for this movie in 1997 I fell in love with Con Air. It introduced us to a wonderful rogues gallery and the ultimate mullet wearing action hero Cameron Poe but most importantly the most awesome electric guitar theme tune of all time.

What a lot of people don’t seem to get about Con Air is that it is pretty much a comedy; it’s tongue is planted firmly in its cheek and doesn’t take itself seriously at all. Everything about it is preposterous and it’s meant to be.

The cast know exactly what kind of movie they are in and just let loose with their over the top characters.  Even with his weird accent Nic Cage’s Cameron Poe is one of my favourite action heroes of all time. With such lines as “I’m gonna show you God does exist” and “I’m gonna save the fuckin’ day” you know you’re dealing with a Grade A badass. He’s not without a sensitive side though as he is prone to crying like a girl at some points too which admittedly I never liked.

The action in this movie is truly spectacular, especially the battle at the boneyard and the final fire truck chase through Las Vegas. There are several good punch ups too but the stand out scene has to be “Put the bunny back in the box” which has since become the most iconic scene of the movie.

You’ve got John Malkovich as Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom hamming it up nicely as one of the all time great movie villains. There’s also Ving Rhames as Diamond Dog, Danny Trejo as Johnny 23, Nick Chinlund as Billy Bedlam and Steve Buscemi as Garland Greene. They are all essentially cartoon characters but everyone has their moment to shine with so many memorable lines which is why we all still talk about this movie over 22 years later.

John Cusack’s character Larkin is an all round good guy who teams with with Poe to kick some criminal ass and it’s one of my favourite roles of his; he apparently hates the movie now so if I ever meet him I now have to punch him in the face.

As stated above the greatest highlight of Con Air is the music score by Trevor Rabin and Mark Mancina. It has the most heroic electric guitar theme of all time and is up there with Superman in terms of shiver down the spine awesomeness. I need this tune to play any time I walk into a room as it would really boost my self-confidence…

Con Air sadly does have some CGI in it which even at the time wasn’t that great but there’s not enough to ruin my enjoyment in any way and it’s used sparingly. The action is mostly done practically which is why it still looks so good.

Overall, Con Air is one of my top 10 favourite action movies of all time; the characters, the dialogue and the amazing music guarantee I don’t go more than a few months without viewing it as it’s a certified action classic.