InsidePulse DVD Review – Con Air: Unrated Extended Edition

Directed by:
Simon West

Written by:
Scott Rosenberg

Nicolas Cage ………. Cameron Poe
John Cusack ………. U.S. Marshal Vince Larkin
John Malkovich ………. Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom
Ving Rhames ………. Nathan ‘Diamond Dog’ Jones
Nick Chinlund ………. William ‘Billy Bedlam’ Bedford
Steve Buscemi ………. Garland ‘The Marietta Mangler’ Greene
Colm Meaney ………. DEA Agent Duncan Malloy
Rachel Ticotin ………. Guard Sally Bishop
Dave Chappelle ………. Joe ‘Pinball’ Parker
Mykelti Williamson ………. Mike ‘Baby-O’ O’Dell
Danny Trejo ………. Johnny ‘Johnny-23’ Baca
M.C. Gainey ………. Swamp Thing
Steve Eastin ………. Guard Falzon
Renoly………. Ramon ‘Sally-Can’t Dance’ Martinez
Monica Potter ………. Tricia Poe

DVD currently available.
Touchstone Pictures presents a Jerry Bruckheimer production.
122 minutes

The Movie

Ah, the beige Volvo trilogy. For those of you not “in the know” Nic Cage made a series of three relatively silly action movies in the ’90s all involving a beige Volvo. In The Rock, Cage’s character talks about how boring he is saying, “I drive a Volvo. A beige one.” In Face/off Cage busts out of prison, and steals a beige Volvo. In Con Air, Cage drops the corpse of Dave Chappelle out of a plane and onto… a beige Volvo.

For a moment, let us examine this thing. The Rock has Cage as a chemist, teaming up with covert special forces, and a British spy who has been detained by the US government for decades in order to break into Alcatraz to stop American Soldiers from using over-sized bath beads to turn innocent civilians into goo. Face/Off has Cage as a sharply dressed terrorist who gets his face stolen by John Travolta. Con Air is about a prison transfer gone wrong, when the inmates manage to take over their transport plane.

One would think, given the premises of these films that Con Air would be the most respectable of the bunch. Con Air manages to defy all expectations, however, and come out head and shoulders above the other films in terms of crap and pure goofiness.

Where to begin?

For starters, Nic Cage delivers what is probably the worst performance in his career as redneck Army Ranger parolee, Cameron Poe. John Cusack is at his Cusackiest, and not in that good way. John Malkovich is decent enough as the film’s main antagonist, Cyrus the Virus, but has to suffer through some of the clunkiest dialogue ever scripted.

There is some bad dialogue all throughout this movie. Con Air raises the standards of bad dialogue to an art form. What’s worse is that much of the delivery of said dialogue comes from the “just read the line” school of non-acting.

The film is littered with cliche bad movie science as well. A cigarette is used as a lighter, a handgun is used to shoot of a padlock, bullets flash for no good reason, etc. Plus, a good chunk of the Con Air‘s story relies on its somewhat dubious knowledge of diabetes. I’ve had juvenile diabetes for some time now, and don’t really understand what Con Air thinks diabetes is. If the diabetic guy has low blood sugar, he should eat something. If his blood sugar is high, he won’t die from a lack of insulin over the course of a couple of hours. Provided he isn’t spending that time eating pixie stix.

The story is a mess, every character is flat, there are some godawful accents, and yet the movie is still a bit of fun. Steve Buscemi’s memorable performance nearly saves the damn movie all by itself. A couple of drinks make this flick salvageable.

And fret not, if you are a teetotaler like me. You too can get enjoyment from this monstrously stupid movie by playing, one of my favorite games, Where do I know that Guy From?

We’ve got a plane full of character actors, from the obscure to the ubiquitous. We’ve got Gael from “24” on the plane, we’ve got M.C. Gainey, we’ve got Danny Trejo, Star Trek’s Colm Meaney, Monica “booted from ‘Boston Legal'” Potter, Dave Chappelle, and countless others.

Good times…

STORY: 4/10
ACTING: 4/10


Tech Stuff Enhanced widescreen and Dolby 5.1. That’s about it. Everything is decent enough here.

Packaging: It has the cardboard slip cover and the clamshell box. Inside is a chapter list with advertisements on the other side.

Extras: Nothing. We get English sub-titles and nothing else. Shenanigans, I SAYS! You can’t package something as the NEW! UNRATED EXTENDED EDITION, and then offer no featurettes or filmogaphies or what have you. We don’t even get a Con Air trailer. I can’t even tell the difference between this version and any other version of Con Air. I guess it runs about 7 minutes longer, but I’ll be damned if I could find out why.

Boo. Dare I say, boo-urns!