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CON AIR

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What You Need To Know:

In CON AIR, a group of hardened criminals commandeers a prison transport plane en route to Nevada and attempts to escape by flying across the US border. Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage), a just-released, ex-con on parole, intervenes to stop the carnage and to rescue his former cell mate and a female guard.

A well directed, fast-moving, shoot-em-up picture, CON AIR appeals to audiences who crave excitement, but it has little redemptive value. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer seems to be fascinated with notorious criminals, since he already dealt with them in his 1995 film, THE ROCK, which also starred Nicolas Cage. In THE ROCK, a paramilitary band took on the federal marshals at Alcatraz Island. In CON AIR, a band of notorious criminals takes on the Feds again, but this time, they take over a prison transport plane, in a bid to escape. CON AIR pits the heavily armed good guys, against the heavily armed bad guys, who exhibit lots of aberrant criminal behavior and speak amusing, brilliant dialogue. The problem is that the non-stop gunfights and exploding bombs leaves the viewer feeling emotionally stunned and enervated after the picture is over. An anti-hero tour de force, CON AIR is yet another Disney film which betrays Walt’s original mandate to make exclusively family films

Content:

(Ro, B, Ho, L, VVV, N, M) Romantic worldview with biblical & homosexual elements; 20 obscenities; at least 20 murders, man knifes man, man shoots six men, & man blows up 12 men; upper male nudity; and, gambling

More Detail:

Notorious criminals are fascinating. A lethal mix of brutal rage, intelligent scheming and abject rebellion, they often present the worst elements of unregenerate human nature. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer seems to be fascinated with notorious criminals, since he already dealt with them in his 1995 film, THE ROCK, which also starred Nicolas Cage. In THE ROCK, a paramilitary band took on the federal marshals at Alcatraz Island. In CON AIR, a band of notorious criminals takes on the Feds again, but this time, they take over a prison transport plane, in a bid to escape.

CON AIR begins as Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) finishes his term of service in the Army Rangers and goes to a low-life bar in Mobile, Alabama, where he reunites with his beautiful wife, Tricia (Monica Potter). A group of ruffians threatens Tricia and Cameron in the parking lot behind the bar. One of the ruffians pulls a knife, and Cameron kills one in self defense. An incompetent lawyer counsels him to plead guilty to manslaughter, and the judge sentences him to eight years in prison.

CON AIR Director Simon West emphasizes the affection Poe feels for his family, as he reads the texts of letters his little girl sends him in voice-over sequences as he sits, exercises and reflects in his metal prison cell. Poe is set up as the good guy prisoner, locked up unfairly. On the day of his release, which happens to be the day on which he cell mate, Baby-O (Mykelti Williamson), is also transferred, Poe hitches a fateful ride aboard a prisoner transfer flight, descriptively called CON AIR.

Enter the bad guys. As if he were reading the names of the players in a Broadway show, Larkin (John Cusak), a federal marshal, gives a brief description of the notorious prisoners to a listening DEA agent, Malloy, as they board the plane in hand and leg irons before take-off. Following federal marshal’s procedures, Larkin demands that the DEA disarm themselves before boarding the plane.

Here, Cyrus the Virus (John Malkovich) steals the show, as he puts on the same charming, but menacing persona he exhibited in 1994’s IN THE LINE OF FIRE, wherein he played an assassin. Sociopath Cyrus the Virus oozes charm and menace simultaneously, as he leads his co-conspirators cons to disarm the guards and take over the plane. He shoots and threatens cons and guards with ruthless abandon, according to his own quirky logic. At one point in the film, he says: “my proclivities are a well-known and a lamented fact of penal lore.” Charming and articulate, but deadly.

The cons fly the plane on its prescribed route to a prisoner transfer point in the Nevada desert. Unbelievably, the federal marshals who meet the con-controlled plane don’t spot the cons masquerading as guards and let it take off into the sky. Once the Feds do discover that the plane is being flown by half a dozen murderous sociopaths (and some innocent victims), they must decide whether or not to shoot it down.

Up steps Poe, who fakes a reason to stay with the plane, rather than exit during the prisoner transfer. He tells the despairing woman guard that he is going to save the day, and show her that God exists.

Will he rescue Baby-O, his former cell mate, and the woman guard? Poe has to confront the conflict between the aggressive DEA Agent Malloy, who orders his agents in hot pursuit with orders to shoot to kill, and federal marshal Larkin, who wants to delay shooting down the plane to preserve the lives of the innocent victims.

CONAIR is fast-paced, with high production values and would appeal to young men who crave excitement. It pits the heavily armed good guys, against the heavily armed bad guys, who exhibit lots of aberrant criminal behavior and speak amusing, even brilliant dialogue. The problem is that the non-stop gunfights and exploding bombs leaves the viewer feeling emotionally stunned and enervated after the picture is over. An anti-hero tour de force, CON AIR is yet another Disney film which betrays Walt’s original mandate to make exclusively family films.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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