Starring: Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, & Ed Harris
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Yes, there was a time when Michael Bay made movies that actually had a plot to go with the explosions, and some, like The Rock, were terrific. I had never seen The Rock from beginning to end, having just caught glimpses of it on TV, but watching it in it's entirety proved what I'd long suspected, it was a great film. A Marine General, upset that his lost soldiers never received the compensation they deserved for their secret missions, takes control of Alcatraz island, and aims chemical weapons at San Francisco. The FBI is at a lost as to what to do and decide to go with an unconventional idea to try and stop the general. A team of Navy seals prepare to take the island back, lead by the only man to ever escape from Alcatraz, now in his sixties, and a chemical weapons specialist who has never been in combat. Sean Connery stars and even though he was nearing the end of his illustrious career, he gives a truly great performance, that reminds us of just how great his movies were. Connery was the premiere action star, in a time before special effects had been computerized. He really gives an old school attitude and feeling to the film, which helps The Rock stand out from it's competition. Connery is paired with Nicholas Cage who is always terrific, especially when he's playing some type of law enforcer. Cage adds humor, unintentionally, with his inexperience, and winds up doing some pretty amazing things. While I don't like to mention specific scenes in a film, I'd be remiss not to mention the incredible chase scene Cage has through the streets of San Francisco, in the beginning of the film. It was reminiscent of the great car chases of the Lethal Weapon series, and really stood out to me. The Rock is a terrific story, featuring a cast in which old school and the younger generation collide, and to top it all off, it has that Michael Bay spin and over reliance on special effects. It's a terrific action film which sadly is rarely seen anymore in the world of computer generated effects and muscle headed action stars.