Mike Werb, Michael Colleary
Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, Joan Allen, Gina Gershon
This movie is presented as part of the John Woo's Career Achievement Award
Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) is a terrorist who has planted a bomb somewhere in Los Angeles, due to go off in mere days. Sean Archer (John Travolta) is a dedicated Federal Agent sworn to bringing Troy to justice after he murders Archer's son. When Archer puts Troy into a coma before learning of the bomb’s location, he's presented with a unique solution: A surgical procedure to switch faces with Castor to get the information from his brother, Pollux (Allessandro Nivola), placed in an inescapable maximum security prison. But Sean Archer (Nicholas Cage) is now in for a shock: Castor Troy (John Travolta) has awakened, taken Archer's face, and is leading Archer's life. Now, the cop who looks like a criminal and the criminal who looks like a cop are set for one final face-off to decide who lives, who dies, and who keeps their face.
FACE/OFF is a movie rarity, a film with a ridiculous premise that comes across like it's the best idea ever written. More so than that, it's also a rare Hollywood movie made by an international filmmaking great (John Woo, of course) where the studio actually gave them license to do what they do best. Add to that the perfect casting of Cage and Travolta, equally terrific in both roles, and you marvel at how goddamned good this movie turned out. Unquestionably the highlight of Woo's Hollywood years, on its 25th anniversary (and with Woo at Fantasia to receive his Career Achievement Award), it's a perfect opportunity for Fantasia 2022 to switch faces with Fantasia 1997, to see this action classic with new eyes and the master himself in attendance. Who wouldn't give their faces to be in that room? – Matthew Kiernan