FACE/OFF (1997)

We have met the enemy and he is us, as The Unenthusiastic Critic sits down for her first viewing of John Woo's Face/Off , starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta.

Inspired by a whack-job MAGA conspiracy theory about Biden and Trump switching faces, Michael decided the time was ripe to introduce Nakea to this preposterous identity-swapping American thriller from the Hong Kong action master. A box-office hit on its release in 1997—and, surprisingly, critically acclaimed—Face/Off not only features two of Nakea's least favorite actors, but lets them completely off the leash so they can ham it up playing each other. Is there any chance Face/Off can win over The Unenthusiastic Critic?

No, there is absolutely no chance of that. But join us anyway for a spirited conversation about "good" bad movies, questionable science, transplant pubes, funeral doves, and the dangers of letting weird character actors become leading men.


0:00: Prologue: from Face/Off
00:36: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
14:47: Interlude: TV Commercial for Face/Off
15:13: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:11:42: Outro and Next Week's Movie

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: Face/Off (dir. John Woo, Paramount, 1997)
—Links and Sources: Tweet about the Biden/Trump Face-Swapping Theory, from @Parlertakes; "A deep dive into 'Face/Off': the best, most absurd action film ever made," Ralph Jones, The Shortlist; "How director John Woo changed Hollywood’s history of violence," Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail; "Trading Faces," Barbara Shulgasser, SFGate; "His Own Worst Enemy," David Ansen, Newsweek; "Face Value," Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune.
—Find additional episodes, leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at unaffiliatedcritic.com.
Email us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are very welcome.)
—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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