The Rock (1996)

Is The Rock a spy movie?

SAS Captain John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery) is Bond.

He was captured in 1962 for stealing the microfilm with all of Hoover’s secrets, escaped in 1963 in time for the events of Dr. No to finish and was recaptured by the U.S. government after the events of 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. He claims that he was trained by the best in the world and even says a Bond-like line from Diamonds: “Of course you are.”

This theory doesn’t take into account 1983’s Never Say Never Again, but you know how it goes — film theory doesn’t have to be foolproof.

Rogue U.S. Force Recon Marines, led by disenchanted Brigadier General Frank Hummel (Ed Harris) and his second-in-command Major Tom Baxter (David Morse) have stolen VX gas-armed M55 rockets and are holding San Francisco hostage unless the families of the men he commended are paid the $100 million that the government has stolen from them.

With such an opening — They make their base on Alcatraz! Nicolas Cage is a bomb expert who loves The Beatles! Sean Connery once escaped Alcatraz! — is a Michael Bay movie made. Well, if you’re going to watch a mindless action film, go with the best I always say.

The beauty of the film? Small roles played by beloved actors. William Forsythe, Michael Biehn and Tony Todd all show up here. The dialogue sparkles — Tarantino did an uncredited rewrite on the script. I wonder if the needle to the heart and Mexican standoff came from him.

I kind of love movies where the bad guys are conflicted, the good guys are unsure and the bullets fly. This one delivers all that and more.

Remember when we went to war in Iraq over chemical weapons? There have been reports that this movie is why, as an MI6 agent was using the film as the basis for his reports from the country. Yes, this really happened.

Bay had a sequel idea, where Goodspeed would be chased by the government to get the microfilm back and he must ask Mason for his help. I really wish that movie had been made.

There’s a scene where Goodspeed tells the guards to remove Mason’s handcuffs and Cage has a crazy line reading — one of many in the movie — and he claims that his way of saying the words came from an Elvis Presley story he had recently told Connery involving girls in white panties wrestling chimpanzees. “Sometimes these ideas come from strange places,” said the California Kinski.

Never change, you magnificent maniac.


And what in the hell is this about? “Nic Cage Bitch” is our Nicolas Cage blowout written by Paul Andolina of Wrestling with Film. It’s a must read for all fans of the Cage, so check it out and learn about some Cage films you may have missed, such as A Score to Settle, Between Worlds, Kill Chain, Outcast, Rage, and Seeking Justice.

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