|Written by Kim Wilson|
|Wednesday, 03 December 1997|
A renegade Marine General (Ed Harris), appalled by the military's policy to deny families of soldiers killed by friendly fire any benefits, takes over the historical landmark Alcatraz Island and threatens to launch a deadly experimental nerve gas into the heart of San Francisco if his demands for $30 million are not met. Involuntarily enlisted from prison by the FBI to assist agent Goodspeed (Cage), a chemical weapons specialist is Mason (Connery). The only person to have escaped from Alcatraz, Mason was later captured and held for years without trial as a political prisoner. The charge of Mason and Goodspeed is to infiltrate the General's well armed defenses and deactivate the rockets armed with the lethal gas.
From there, nearly everything and everybody is pretty much shot or blown up in the course of this movie. Cage and Connery are such excellent actors that they make the most out of this dreadful, paper-thin script. Their snappy and smart-ass repartee adds a smattering of humanity and humor to an otherwise forgetful film.
The thundering and percussive soundtrack is tiring, though it drives the action effectively. The use of Dolby Digital made for greater dynamic range, but there was little effort made to develop any special 360-degree effects other then a few helicopter and jet fighter fly-bys. However you do get a real good sense of what makes DVD's video superior to VHS, as the disk exhibits remarkable picture detail and excellent contrast in scenes shot in extreme low-light conditions.
If you're the type of guy (or gal) who can't get enough action and adventure, no matter how ridiculous the plot, then The Rock has plenty of non-stop explosions and carnage to satisfy your cravings for bullets and blood. However, if you find action for action's sake rather boring and monotonous, cross The Rock off your list because there is nothing remotely redeeming in this cliché and predictable storyline.