Face/Off ★★½

Oh boy. This hasn't aged well.

On the plus side, there's some prime Nic Cage acting, particularly in his conflicted "I'm Castor Troy!" scene in the prison.

Also on the plus side, Nick Cassavetes. Six words: "No more drugs for that man!"

On the minus side, there's some prime John Travolta acting.

Also on the minus side, the action takes ages to kick in.

Further on the minus side, which waiting for the action to kick in, we have to watch scenes featuring appalling dated technology. And scenes featuring nonsense plot. And sometimes both at once.

Veering towards the minus, Woo cliches abound, particularly it comes to young childen.

But -

There are other pluses, once you get far enough into the film. There's the unforgettable invasion of Dietrich's loft, which features both the "Somewhere over the rainbow" montage, and the mirror face-off. There's also some top-notch church+dove action - before sadly it all gets a bit silly again.

But. But -

for someone who first watched Face/Off in the cinema back in '97, when the BBFC made a habit of enforcing certain cuts, watching it on VOD today led to one jump-out-of-the-seat moment in untethered glee when, after Troy/Travolta asks his daughter if she carries protection, he _unflips a butterfly knife in slow-motion_.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't rewind that clip to watch it back again at least three times. Because back in '97? No-one was allowed to see a butterfly knife in action. So this moment was cut - so the later call back didn't quite work. So actually being able see this scene for the first time in over 20 years?

That's worth at least another .5 of a star.