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I am already dreading the next John Woo film, him having completely lost it over the last years, never recovering from being embraced first by Hollywood and then by the Chinese cultural administration (is my guess). So to cleanse me from evil thoughts about his forthcoming Titanic With Chinese Characteristics, it’s not the worst idea to go back to Face / Off again, to see what ridiculous over-the-top Hongkong film making can do when a pile of Hollywood cash is thrown at it and when two of Hollywood’s most camp former actors use their peaking star power to most stunning effect. The story telling is almost comic style clumsy, the imagery (doves, slow motion shots, flapping long coat tails…) grotesque. The key concept at the heart of the film could not be more in need of suspension of disbelief (two opponents exchange personality when their faces and physical appearance gets surgically exchanged, and then everybody who knows about it dies).

But there is just masterful use of this concept, maybe most notable when the two opponents Castor Troy (John Travolta / Nicholas Cage) and Sean Archer (Nicholas Cage / John Travolta) face each other separated only by a double-sided mirror (who ever built such a thing? Utter nonsense!), so when aiming at each other, they are aiming at their own respective mirror image, after face exchange, so they are actually seeing exactly the thing they want to shoot at. Yes, silly, I know, and Great!

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