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Face/Off ★★★½ 1997 (R)

Woo returns to his blood-soaked, violence-as-poetry-in-motion roots with the story of a fed who assumes the identity of the presumed-dead terrorist who killed his son. When the master criminal wakes up, he “steals” the cop's identity. Travolta's back for another wild ride, eating up the scenery when he takes on the bad-guy role. Cage, fresh from action hits in “The Rock” and “Con Air” gets to study the nature of good and evil (another Woo specialty) while he learns the nuances of the “leap across the room with two pistols blazing” move. Woo's Hong Kong efforts have always explored the blurry line between the good guys and the bad guys, and with Cage and Travolta, he has the perfect actors to display his findings. Woo cultists will welcome the return to the old style, while those only familiar with his stateside work will understand what all the fuss was about. 140m/C VHS, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD . John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Al-essandro Nivola, Gina Gershon, Nick Cassavetes, Dominique Swain, Harve Presnell, Margaret Cho, CCH Pounder, Colm Feore, John Carroll Lynch, Matt Ross; D: John Woo; W: Mike Werb, Michael Colleary; C: Oliver Wood; M: John Powell. MTV Movie Awards '98: On-Screen Duo (John Travolta/ Nicolas Cage), Action Seq.