The Rock: Fels der Entscheidung (1996)

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The Rock: Fels der Entscheidung: Directed by Michael Bay. With Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer. A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

“This movie is definitely for action junkies. If you enjoy disecting a movie looking for silly dialogue, plot holes, or looking for inner-meaning in a movie, you might want to skip The Rock. This movie is 2 hours, 15 minutes, but the action is almost nonstop and the movie moves briskly. Itu0026#39;s typical Jerry Bruckheimer fare, including plenty of action, an implausible storyline, and big stars doing a fine job of acting.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSome Bruckheimer characteristic events were obvious, such as the scene immediately after the car chase where Cage stands, and the camera rotates around him. This is reminescent of a similar scene in Bad Boys, another Bruckheimer film, where Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are standing in a similar pose with the same rotating camera view. Also present was the presidential address and accompanying slow-motion dramatic scenes near the end, ala Armageddon. Iu0026#39;m not saying itu0026#39;s bad for Bruckheimer to reuse his old ideas, just that if I was able to spot them, other people probably did as well.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSome of the dialogue was way over the top, and tended to get a bit macho and silly. When Mason tells Lomax, u0026quot;…youu0026#39;re between the Rock and a hard caseu0026quot;, I felt like groaning. There was plenty of self-referential comments, such as this one where Mason refers to himself as a u0026quot;hard caseu0026quot;. There were also other comments where the characters would try to u0026quot;build upu0026quot; the other characters, such as when Lomax says, u0026quot;You donu0026#39;t know Mason.u0026quot; I hate it when movies do this. They try to make you believe how tough a character is by other characters talking about him. I would prefer to SEE how tough he is by his actions, rather than be told about it constantly using dialogue. Several parts of the movie, such as the stalemate in the shower, seemed melodramatic and reheased. I couldnu0026#39;t imagine Michael Biehn, in real life, giving the u0026quot;We spilt the same blood in the same mudu0026quot; speech to a general thatu0026#39;s holding a gun on him, but thatu0026#39;s just my opinion.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eCage plays the geek very well, with some very humorous scenes. The scene near the beginning where heu0026#39;s difusing the bomb, and finding the Playboy mags and gas mask, and his assistant screaming about the long needle, was darkly hilarious. I love that sort of humor. There were lots of very good scripting, such as the dialogue between Cage and Connery about the difference between winners and losers, and Cageu0026#39;s u0026quot;Actually, Iu0026#39;m a chemical SUPER-freaku0026quot; response was a great one-liner.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI did feel like there some were plot holes, or at least some weird occurances. For example, when Cage calls his girlfriend and tells her not to come to San Francisco, she yells back into the phone, u0026quot;Like hell I wonu0026#39;t!u0026quot; and hangs up. Why would she do that? Wouldnu0026#39;t she more likely ask something like, u0026quot;Why not?u0026quot; Or at the very least, maybe start accusing him of being with another woman? Of course, this was the perfect vehicle for her to come to San Francisco against his wishes and have to be rescued. It didnu0026#39;t make sense, but it made the story move along. Also, she runs away from the FBI agent when he comes to pick up her. Why? Because the FBI agent refused to answer her questions about where her boyfriend (Cage) is. Why would she run away? I would assume the FBI agent is there to take me to safety or to her boyfriend. But again, by running away this furthers the plot–now sheu0026#39;s in danger and Cage can agonize about her fate, and thus he has motivation to disarm the poison rockets. If she had stayed and allowed the FBI to whisk her to safety, he would not have been motivated to save the city. Heu0026#39;d already been shown to be a bit of a coward in the scene where heu0026#39;s throwing up out of nervousness. Of course, in other scenes heu0026#39;s terribly heroic. His character was a bit inconsistent, but you could explain it as him being thrust into the situation and once there, exceeding his prior limits.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe incinerator was another weird plot device. It looked a bit unrealistic. It was obviously something dreamed up for an action movie, with moving cogs (wheels) that would turn and have to be dodged by the hero, all the while fire is rushing through the same area. Iu0026#39;ve seen an incinerator, and it didnu0026#39;t resemble this monstrosity at all. I have no idea if the motion sensor that detected the marines arrival was accurate and if the military really has something this sophisticated, but I thought it was an ingenius idea.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYou may feel differently, but I actually enjoyed the villains of the story more than the heroes. Most of the lines that struck me as powerful were delivered by the noble villains, Harris and Morse. I found the combination of Ed Harris, David Morris, and Michael Biehn (admittedly not a villain in this movie) a powerful combination. I consider all these actors excellent, and the stalemate in the shower room was especially powerful, as well as the standoff with the villains near the end. These scenes didnu0026#39;t feature Connery or Cage, or the occasional humorous tension breaker. These scenes showed us that all villains are not the same, and that some villains are evil, and some just misguided. This degree of gray, in an otherwise black and white character movie, added a level of complexity to the film. Thus, a film that I would have otherwise said was u0026quot;okayu0026quot; became a really good action movie with some characters that I actually cared about.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThere was lots of violence and profanity, and a brief sexual situation (although no nudity) near the beginning. Despite my problems with some of the dialogue and plot, I found this movie enjoyable and engaging. If you donu0026#39;t mind overly macho acting and some silliness in the dialogue, and you love action, then youu0026#39;ll probably love this movie. If seeing serious characterization and motivation if more your style, you might want to check out Steel Magnolias and leave The Rock at the video store.”


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