Time: 108 mins.
Right up front...one should always be wary of films co-starring ex-athletes, whether they're just playing one of the bad guys henchmen or not. It just shows that no decent actor wanted the part. As many actors have portrayed through film history, you don't have to be big to be mean remember Hannibal Lecter. Having said that, this film is just a colossal waste of time. I guess the premise was kind of interesting Air Force pilot downs own plane to steal nuclear weapons in order to blackmail the government for big cash but certainly nothing new. The effects looked and were good and I like both John Travolta and Christian Slater, so I was expecting to be highly entertained. What happens is a train wreck of an action flick that starts overblown and gets more unbelievable from there.
To begin with, I think someone needs to explain the word "subtle" to Mr. Travolta. It must have been the directing since he's never been as out-of-control as this. Well, except in his Woo-directed follow-up FACE/OFF. Maybe this is how he believes villains should act. Personally, his cocky flamboyance made the role more laughable than menacing. Slater tries hard as the betrayed pilot who has the thankless job of trying to stop Travolta's scheme. His boyish righteousness is the only honest emotion in the film. Unfortunately, his solid performance is ruined by the presence of Samantha Mathis.
She plays a park ranger dragged away from her duty protecting our country's natural treasures to help Slater thwart nuclear destruction. After watching her performance, it's no wonder our national parks are in trouble. Granted she's not supposed to be a super hero, however, I kept waiting for her to burst into tears. She is not a woman who can realistically handle a gun, never mind try to combat evil. Instead of being a partner to Slater, she becomes just another hindrance in his race to stop Travolta. If Woo was trying to appeal to the female audience, he fails miserably.