John Woo’s 1990s action gem Face/Off sets a very high bar when it comes to its action and total zaniness. The plot alone is ridiculous enough to make you laugh: an FBI agent (John Travolta) discovers the only way to thwart a crazed madman’s (Nicolas Cage) plans is to literally peel his face off and steal his identity. And the FBI, known for their lax procedures and policies, goes for it! Sure, take the terrorist’s face, they say! Well, the plan backfires when the crazed madman awakes from a medically-induced coma and — wouldn’t you know it? — steals the FBI agent’s face. Madness!
Yes, this was a movie and, yes, it was actually a lot of fun. The concept was beyond silly but Travolta and Cage’s performances just made it work. It didn’t make a lot of sense and it tossed any shred of believability out the window but, hey, it was the 90s.
It now seems like Face/Off will live again. According to Deadline, Paramount is looking to reboot the film and have attached Oren Uziel to write the script. No word on who will direct and no word on who will star.
This reboot is unnecessary, sure, but which reboots aren’t? The only way this movie will be even remotely interesting is if the casting works. Who will star as the face-swapping FBI agent and terrorist? If Paramount gets inspired and makes some bold choices, we could have something here. If they take themselves too seriously or make even a single casting mis-step then it’s just not going to work. Face/Off featured Travolta, Cage and Woo going full on looney tunes. If the stars and director of this new reboot aren’t committed to doing the same then this whole idea is a waste of time. We need craziness! Ridiculousness! Hamming it up! Don’t hold back, folks!
This news will surely make a lot of film fans scowl. The original movie holds a special place in the hearts of many. It’s time to see if the bonkers plot holds up all these years later.