In the timeline of Nicholas Cage’s career, Con Air is something of a turning point. Previously seen as more of a quirky character actor, Cage followed his Oscar win for Leaving Las Vegas with a trio of high-camp action movies; The Rock, Con Air and Face Off. All three were hugely successful.
Since then, Cage has famously appeared in more schlocky popcorn movies than virtually anyone else in the industry, but few have made quite the same impact as those three films. We’ll get around to them all at some point, but Con Air has already set a high bar for insanity.
Directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Con Air is essentially Cocaine and Testosterone: The Movie. The cast features an all-star lineup including Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack and Steve Buscemi, all chewing scenery with wild abandon.
Malkovich in particular delivers one of the great 90s villain roles as Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Greene, elevating every ridiculous line of expositional dialogue to near Shakespearean levels, and suffering one of the most memorable – and protracted – movie deaths ever committed to screen.
There are two supporting characters who truly steal the show though, and they are Cage’s accent and Cage’s wig. You’ve probably seen the latter in the countless memes this movie has spawned, but the former really has to be heard to be believed. Cage allegedly spent time in Alabama prior to filming in order to perfect his deep south drawl. Unfortunately, the final product comes out sounding like a bizarre cross between Foghorn Leghorn and a low-rent Elvis impersonator.
On this week’s podcast, we break it all – the questionable logistics, the regrettable 90s racism, the utterly baffling Steve Buscemi scenes and much, much more – including listener reactions, sequel pitches and a highly productive round of drinking games!
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Next week, we pivot back to mildly classier fare with an Oscar-nominated family comedy that brought a little sunshine into all of our lives back in 2006. Until then, happy listening and remember – put the bunny back in the box, always.