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Nicolas Cage and John Travolta have the best of both worlds as a preening super-criminal and an obsessed FBI agent who switch identities — and faces — in Hong Kong action auteur John Woo's super-high concept thriller.
Obsessed FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) has finally captured his nemesis, super-criminal Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage), but the preening baddie has slipped into a coma before he could reveal the whereabouts of a massive "dirty bomb" that could wipe out Los Angeles. Through a top-secret surgical procedure, Archer has Troy's face grafted onto his own and goes undercover in a high-tech island prison to try and learn the bomb's location from Troy's imprisoned brother. But the Nic hits the fan when Troy comes to, slaps on Archer's puffy mug and assumes his identity at work and at home with the lawman's frigid wife (Joan Allen) and hot-to-trot jailbait daughter (Dominique Swain). This super-high concept thriller was John Woo's most successful Americanization of his over-the-top Hong Kong action aesthetic, and both stars take full advantage of the identity-switching premise to ham it up to high heaven; watch particularly for the Archer-as-Troy prison freakout for a prime example of Caginess at its peak.