“I could eat a peach for hours.”
– Castor Troy
There’s no better way to follow up a shot of Con Air than with a Face/Off chaser. We have been wanting to blog about this movie for a while because it has Nic Cage in it, the premise is bat-shit crazy, and we saw lots of fun food potential.
We explored two concepts for the food. First, we took Castor Troy’s (Nic Cage) greasy “I could eat a peach for hours” line quite literally and spread peaches throughout all of our dishes so we could eat peaches for hours as well. We also wanted to perform a face-off surgery of our own. We cooked both chicken and fish for this meal, removed the skin from each, and incorporated the skin from one into the dish of the other. Adventurous, we know, but we just happen to be very adventurous people.
We started with a sea bass ceviche. The ceviche was made with grapefruit, lime, jalapeños, ginger, garlic, honey, and peaches, so it was sweet, tart, and spicy all at once. In that way, it reminded us a bit of Castor Troy. Finally, we topped it with some crispy chicken skin from the entree and saved the fish skin for later.
For the main course, we broiled some chicken thighs with rosemary and lemon and topped them with homemade peach compote, and the crispy, fried fish skin from the appetizer. To round out the dish we served the chicken on a bed of sautéed greens. Nice, simple, and quick, but sure to wow everyone you know.
Finally, we had a checkerboard peaches and cream cake for dessert. You may be wondering why we went with a checkerboard pattern for the cake because that seems like a very specific pull, and you would be wrong: we don’t really have a good reason for it – we just thought it would look cool. Maybe we were inspired by the movie in that you may think you know someone by their outward appearance, but there could be something hidden inside. Or we could just be coming up with that on the spot. We’ll never tell.
Continuing the peach theme, we made a frozen peach bellinis. We searched for a drink that would rival the macho, action-packed, explosion filled movie that is Face/Off, and really what drink is described more in those words than a bellini? Cool, creamy, and bubbly, it was the best bellini any of us had ever had, and the bit of mango nectar in it was delicious.
👱 Drink whenever anyone says “face.”
💆 Drink whenever a character does their signature move.
☝️ Drink whenever you suspect “One Take John” Travolta did a scene in one take.
Face/Off is a very unique movie. In a way, it is the most quintessential bad sci-fi thriller. In another way, it is everything you want out of a sci-fi thriller. It is a movie that could have only been made at one time in history in which audiences were able to eschew all aspects of believability: the 90s.
Let’s start by exploring some of the wild and crazy science present in Face/Off, because of course the magic of the face swap is covered in much detail (they were doing face swaps before it was cool). Sean Archer (John Travolta) goes to a secret lab that apparently only 3 people in the world seem to know about. In this lab, they remove his face by running a laser around the edges of the face and then attaching it to a suction cup and pulling it right off.
They then used more lasers to add or remove hair in appropriate places, and presumably also use lasers to match the body type of the host. That part wasn’t covered except with a computer graphic of a body shape changing. Finally, the scientist stuck a microchip in Sean Archer’s throat to match his voice to Castor Troy’s but cautioned care as anything as violent as a moderate sneeze would cause the voice chip to break. Disappointingly, even after a zillion collisions much more violent than even a heavy sneeze, nothing comes of that set up.
After the face swap happens, the magic continues and Face/Off does what no movie had done previously and no movie has done since: they had two people playing Nic Cage. Nic Cage was, of course, basically playing himself as he always does, but after Sean Archer swaps faces’s with Nic Cage’s character, John Travolta is essentially put into a position where he has to play Nic Cage as well. The result is two crazy actors trying to out-crazy each other and boy is it fun to watch.
Speaking of things that are fun to watch, Face/Off also takes it upon itself to include every single action sequence an action movie could possibly include. There is a car chase. A airplane chase on a runway. A boat chase. A bomb defusing sequence. A prison escape. A fist fight. A gun fight. You could say that Sean Archer and Nic Cage face off quite a bit in this movie.
From the acting to the action to the science, everything about Face/Off was absolutely ridiculous, and absolutely worth watching.
André: Just what the doctor ordered. I can’t get enough of Face/Off. There are so many great one liners, so many ridiculous scenes, and so many Nic Cages in this movie. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen and better than you could have expected all at once.
Leanna: Ridiculous from start to finish – and that’s the way it should be. This is totally the type of film that I would not expect to enjoy, and yet given the right people and the right circumstances, I’ve managed to have a pretty great time watching this movie not once, but twice. It’s exactly the right mix of “so bad, it’s good,” which I know I previously have said about Con Air, but Face/Off takes it to a whole new level.
Ben: 70%. Whereas Con Air tried a little too hard and wasn’t crazy enough, Face/Off was the right quantity of great concept, interesting delivery, and endearing end product. While the film itself isn’t that memorable beyond its initial concept, it did allow plenty of conversations during the movie and general fun all around. Some of its wackier ideas don’t always hit home or have the story impact they are positioned to have (I am thinking of the magnetic boots in the prison in particular), and that leaves the film feeling a little hollow and disingenuous with its ideas. Ultimately though, Face/Off has both its highs and lows, and I think the overarching concept is enough to make it an enjoyable watch.