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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Rock (1996)



Reviews and Comments

Remarkable action movie from noted producers Don Simpson (who died before it was released) and Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Michael Bay. It suffers from the usual action flick implausibilities and minor plot holes, but the film is too much fun for these to be overly bothersome. Tension and adrenaline is cranked to the max almost from the start. The three leads, Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, and Ed Harris are a sheer delight to watch and miraculously make their characters dynamic and full-fledged even though the action seldom slows down (and never for very long). The plot? Ed Harris is tired of the government failing to honor men who die in combat or on secret missions, or appropriately compensating their families; as a last resort to get the government to listen, he takes control of Alcatraz and holds a tour group hostage. Connery and Cage are hired to break in and deactivate Harris' chemical weapons. One noteworthy flaw is Michael Bay's quick-cut editing, which is used more for style than to complement the action on screen, and as such is an unwelcome distraction. But it's not terrible, as it was in Bay's later films, and does not prevent The Rock from being thoroughly riveting entertainment and a must for action film fans.