Well folks it the testosterone' flick. CON AIR. However, once again let me take you into my mind set for the film, so perhaps you can understand the moths and their web-spinning friends that reside inside my skull.
The story of seeing this manly man film began last Saturday at 7a.m. at the local big entertainment thingamagig, The Erwin Center. We sat in line for about 3 hours for the tickets, and we were about 20 or so from the front. The LINE is an interesting place. People speculate about the film, talk of future sneaks, yada yada yada. However, this time the conversation was the fact that an insidious rumor began. What is it? Schumacher has made a good Batman flick? Charlton Heston confessed to playing the part of Aramis in the upcoming Prequels? OH NO nothing that scary. No, this was just the rumor that the passes didn't exist. Sure enough the rumor was true and we had to sign a list and pray something didn't happen to that list. "This list is life..."
Monday comes and I get the call ensuring our presence to see CON AIR. Ahhh, tension relieved. Till this morning anyway.
Late TUESDAY night, my father comes in my room babbling about Conan O'Brian, Charlton Heston, and the Prequels. He then insists he read a mention of Heston and Star Wars in Tuesday's paper. I make him drive me all over town, till we find it. You see I had read the paper and didn't see it there. Sure enough, there was no mention of Heston anywhere in the paper. I, all smug, write up the Conan O'Brian "fact" my Dad related to me. By the way, if anyone saw Tuesday's Entertainment Tonight, could you confirm or deny my father's ramblings about Heston and Star Wars? I go to sleep.
This morning I wake up all excited about seeing CON AIR. Oh boy, a MANLY MAN flick. I turn on the computer and find tons (mountains, moons, galaxies) of email proclaiming me insane for the Heston/O'Brian rumor. I began to see the computer screen with wavy heat distortions as I preceded to have what comedians call "the slow burn." I call my father in and ask him about the denials. He begins back peddling. Turns out Conan asked about "Q clearance" which is a government thingee. My father suddenly gives me a goofy madman insane raving lunatic look (his normal expression btw) and says, "Q clearance, that doesn't make sense." ARGH!!!! I was stabbed in the back by my own father. The traitor. Then I realized that my father has exclusive clearance to coded disbursals of information. Q Clearance means PreQuel involvement, for those in the know. Also when Heston talked about how important the Bible is, obviously in the geek language this means "Star Wars is the most important thing." Right? You see, we people have to read between the lines.
After realizing that the men will have to come and put the WHITE COAT on father dearest, I began focusing all that pent up rage and hostility and embodied Nick Cage as my spirit whupper of ass. And then preceded to get ready for CON AIR.
Before going to the theater, we had to pick up my sister (who believes that Steve Buscemi is her cute little puppy wuppy [it's a chick thing]). She is upset because apparently one of her closest friends accused her of breaking into his house, going to his room, and taking some of his CDs. He continued this after finding out she had been in the presence and locked house of another person the entire night. But you see my sister is the anti-christ and can do really sinister things while being in plain view. Anyway she was all teary eyed, quite pitiful. So I tell her to embody her rage and anger and tears into Nick Cage. So she did.
Next it was off to the theater. We got in line. And stood there for 2 and a half hours. This line was in another dimension. They weren't really fired up to see CON AIR. They were just there, it was free, and there needed to be warm bodies in seats. My people on the other hand were talking about the camera filters, the cool guns, cars, planes, destruction, mayhem, etc that go hand in hand with a Bruckheimer flick. We also talked about Shoemacher (I love that guy), Kevin Costner (I love this guy too), Jon Peters (Can you feel the love in the room?) and the curse of VAN DAMME (Hyams, Woo, Emmerich, Lam, Hark). Oh and the idea of a Godzilla film festival. Groovy talk otherwords.
Next we are ushered into the theater and then oversized foam horsepills are being hurled at us. People are trying to kill one another to just touch one of these hurling horse pills. Adrenaline begins to rise, testosterone begins to flow, and then the Martin Lawerence began. UGH! Me wanna see big SPAWN trailer!!!!
Then it was time for CON AIR.
CON AIR is a brainless super cool movie that plays to your inner macho man. We've all had a taunt or two thrown our way. A gauntlet thrown before us that we walked away from. We convince ourselves that we did the right thing. But when it comes right down to it we wanted to caveman out and beat the taunter, the gauntlet tosser into a bloody lifeless pulp of oozing matter. In fact we might even say something like, "Man that GUY's lucky THAT I had a girl present. SHEEEEET he pull that stuff on me any OTHER day and he ... DEAD, you know wha I sayin'!?!"
Well CON AIR is that little ID monster we modern human being surpress. The caged animal in our psyche. And damn it, that monster can whup some. Not only that but Nick Cage as the uber-ID-man has a cool Mark Mancina score to help him whup convict tail. Alot of people are going to compare this with THE ROCK. Don't! THE ROCK had a vaguely serious feel to it. That Michael Biehn / Ed Harris showdown was super intense. That intensity is not here. Instead we have a 'Whupass Film'. In the lines of Van Damme films, but here we don't have a principal actor (or supporting one) that seems to be counting sheep while talking.
How is the story? Marginal. But you know what? I let that part of me go about 8 months ago when I started paying attention to this flick. You say you wanna know what the plot of the film is? Here ya go: CON AIR. That explains the entire film. And that's all that this one wants to be.
This is the sort of flick that you walk out of with the theme in your head, laughing about the favorite stupid scene, and talking about how attractive that wife of Cage's character was. Could the film of been more? Oh yeah, alot more. In fact the film could have been played serious and might of been able to be a classic. As it is, it's a good excuse to eat popcorn and slurp soda.
Ideally you want to watch Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Dirty Dozen about 7 hours before seeing the film. Then you want to watch some sort of sporting event (a contact sport is a real plus) then go lift some weights or take a mile sprint. Not enough to exhaust ya, but enough to get ya pumped up. Then go grab your 5 best friends and out macho each other with this film. Look at the Lobby Standee and pick a character a piece (Not Nick Cage) to be. Root for that character. Be the biggest meanest weasel of a bad guy. Then get your butt whupped.
Hang on, my inner Neanderthal wants to express speech about CON AIR.
"ugga bugga zug zug rub dub tillie ruuuuuub dub"
That about says it all! If you wanna see a long haired Nick Cage vs the weirdest supporting cast in a looooong time then sign on to take a flight. If you want to see only one airplane action film of the summer and you want it to be real real smart. Hang on for Air Force One. Personally though this is a coooool movie.
In the genre of good guy prisoner that has to whup ass to survive in a big ol cool looking airplane, it doesn't get to much better than this. Though I think it is possible. The equivalent to a 3 out a 5 stars, 6.5 outa 10 and 2 3/4 outa 4. A thumb's up. I have to go whup some butt right now.