The Rock

D: Michael Bay
Buena Vista/Hollywood Pictures (Jerry Bruckheimer & Don Simpson)
US 1996
136 mins


W: David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook & Mark Rosner
DP: John Schwartzman
Ed: Richard Francis-Bruce
Mus: Hans Zimmer & Nick Glennie-Smith

Sean Connery (John Mason), Nicolas Cage (Stanley Goodspeed), Ed Harris (Brig. Gen. Frank Hummel), Michael Biehn (Cmmdr. Anderson), William Forsythe (Ernest Paxton), David Morse (Maj. Tom Baxton), John Spencer (James Womack)

Though the plot may be ludicrous and Michael Bay's direction is frenetically over-the-top, The Rock is a thoroughly enjoyable action-thriller which utilises a great on-screen pairing of Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery as San Francisco's greatest hope against a biological attack.
Even the main villain in this film is a bit of an originality, shedding the usual pantomime characteristics for a man with well-intentioned and noble ends, even though the means are twisted.
A team of marine mercenaries take control of Alcatraz prison, holding tourists hostage and threatening to launch a chemical weapon on San Francisco unless the US government meets their ransom that families of fallen Iraq soldiers receive financial settlement for their loss.
Cage, as a chemical weapons expert and Connery, a former British spy unite to save the day, and though there's a ridiculous car chase before the men get to the island, once the action is committed to the prison the film becomes a pulsating, nail-biting watch.
Theorists have mused that the film is an unofficial sequel to James Bond movies, with Connery playing the spy with a different alias one final time. That one's purely up to the viewer's interpretation.

Sean Connery & Nicolas Cage in The Rock
Sean Connery & Nicolas Cage in The Rock