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At The Movies

Cinema Fix: Con Air (1997) is Peak 90's Nic Cage

We love our metal here at Metal Injection… but we dig movies too! Welcome to Cinema Fix, a movie guide tailored for the metal faithful. Sit back and relax after a long week of work and/or blast beats and enjoy one of our prestigious film selections. This week's pick is:

Con Air (1997)

Quick Pitch:

Nic Cage’s finest hair piece mixed with explosions and mouthy one-liners galore. "I'm talking sandy beaches, umbrella drinks…and dirty naked freaks."


A U.S. Marshals transport plane, populated with murderers, rapists, and every creep and freak in universe, is hijacked mid-flight by unruly prisoners. Trapped in the chaos is Cameron Poe, a decorated Army veteran/Southern gentlemen who must put a stop to the prisoner’s revolt in order to save a friend’s life and get back home to his waiting family. Poe uses his wits, awesome hair and elite Ranger training, to work in tandem with authorities to bring the plane and its convict crew to justice. Of course with a laundry list of high-profile, maximum security inmates on board, including criminal mastermind Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom, he’s got his work cut out for him.

The Rock, Con-Air, Face/Off = Kill Em' All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets

The Rock, Con-Air, Face/Off = Kill Em' All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets

Con Air is easily one of the most mindlessly enjoyable action films of the 1990’s, which puts it in the running for one of the most enjoyable action films ever made. Released in 1997, Con Air is both the crown jewel in producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s impeccable late 90’s catalog of ham fisted action capers [Crimson Tide, Bad Boys, Armageddon, etc.], but also represents the apex of Nicolas Cage’s storied/bizarre Hollywood career. What would you do after winning The Academy Award for Best Actor in a critically acclaimed film like Leaving Las Vegas? If you’re Nic Cage…you transition into the most unconventional, and schlocky action star of all time! Con Air is the centerpiece of Cage’s mid 90’s cinematic hat-trick, sandwiched between The Rock [another Bruckheimer picture] and Face/Off, and features some of the most over the top set pieces and quirky one-liners imaginable. Not to mention, Cage’s awesomely bad wig and Southern accent.


Why it’s metal:

Prison riots, explosions up the wazoo and a cadre of over the top, super villian-esque, bad guys. You’d be hard pressed trying to explain how Con Air isn’t metal. The amount of testosterone on display in this film boggles the mind. The boneyard scene in particular where all the cons maintenance the plane resembles a Manowar cover come to life. As great as Nicolas Cage is as Cameron Poe, the real highlight of the film is watching all the weird ass prisoner he encounters onboard the flight. Hats off to Bruckheimer for assembling such an awesome supporting cast, including John Malkovich as Cyrus The Virus, Ving Rhames as Diamond Dog, Steve Buscemi as Garland Greene, Dave Chappelle as Pinball, and Danny Trejo as Johnny 23 [“Johnny 600 if they knew the truth”]. These dudes are all pretty much certifiable and represent the nut jobs Slayer sang about on “Criminally Insane.” That, and Con Air’s musical score features copious amounts of guitar wails.

Suggested listening:

System of a Down – “Prison Song”

For obvious reasons.

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