Comedy Classics: Face/Off

(Minor Spoilers)

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to catch one of the greatest examples of comedy and action cinema has to offer. That movie is 1997’s Face/Off. It stars two of Hollywood’s national treasures, John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, and its directed by the legendary John Woo. It’s truly a Woo classic too, there’s doves, combat rolls, Mexican standoffs, and an excessive amount of sparks every time and any time a gun is fired.

Face/Off is an epic story of love & revenge where an international murderous psychopathic villain named Nicolas Cage plays a character named Castor Troy, who is also a murderous villain. Castor is hunted by the FBI agent or cop (doesn’t even matter) Sean Archer (played by Travolta) and the whole movie is a wild cat and mouse mind game that is loaded with more fireworks than the fourth of July. Oh, and they also take their faces off and switch them to assume each other’s identity, sort of against each other’s will… for some reason. It’s as hilarious as it is illogically ridiculous.

They switch faces and end up impersonating each other. No infection, goes pretty much perfectly smoothly, none of their peers take that much notice, and they somehow manage to brush off the fact that they have two totally different body types, even though any bare bones google search would prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. And please trust me when I say this, there is nothing else in the world like Nicolas Cage impersonating John Travolta impersonating Nicolas Cage. That goes for Travolta Impersonating Cage Impersonating Travolta too. It’s truly an unmatched demonstration of expert acting craft.

At one point Travolta even calls his own chin ridiculous. But one of the greatest and truly puzzling moments of the movie is when Travolta, who is actually ultra villain Cage wearing Travolta’s face, bangs Travolta’s wife played by Joan Allen. She is unable to distinguish the difference in penis even though a penis swap is never mentioned. Folks I don’t want to get graphic but there’s all kinds of different penises out there and to say that Sean Archer played by Travolta and Castor Troy played by Cage have identical penises, or that Travolta’s wife can’t tell… I’m not buying it. People say the phrase face off too, do I need to say more.

It’s a fantastic movie that transcends its action glory to become one of the funniest films ever made. Woo, Travolta, and Cage are at the top of their game in a movie that makes little sense because it doesn’t need to make sense. It gets by solely on Nicolas Cage groping women and John Travolta groping women while pretending to be Nicolas Cage pretending to be John Travolta. Face/Off is truly one of the finest examples of 1990’s cinema.

If you like Face/Off or you have a fan fiction script for Face/Off 2, please feel free to leave a comment, and thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: Snagged from

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