I’d forgotten just how great Con Air is, until I watched it again last night for the first time in years.
For those of you that haven’t seen it, the plot is fairly simple – Cameron Poe (Nicholas Cage), a highly decorated US ranger, is convicted of manslaughter after protecting his wife in a drunken brawl. Finally, after eight years, he’s being paroled and going home to his wife and daughter. His ride home is the Jailbird, which also happens to be transporting some of society’s most vicious criminals to Feltham Penitentiary, Lousiana’s toughest maximum security prison. An escape is made on board by Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom and the cons seize control of the plane with the intention to fly to Mexico. The officials on the ground want to blow it up, but US Marshal Vince Larkin (John Cusak) and Poe have other ideas…
What I love about the film is the fact that it is one enormous cliche. It’s a fabulous cast and superbly acted, with big budget explosions, quick set-ups and on-going end sequences (Poe saves the day and could quite easily go home with his wife and child but then insists on hunting the bad guys down until he’s killed them in gruesome ways, only to end the film with a very ‘corn-ball’ reunion with his family). The dialogue is witty to the very end.
Cameron Poe: [to Larkin] Sorry boss, but there’s only two men I trust. One of them’s me. The other’s not you.
Duncan Malloy: This is a situation that needs to get unfucked, right now!
Cameron Poe: [smashing Johnny 23’s head into the cage wall on each word] Don’t… *treat*… *women*… *like*… *that*!
[referring to Malloy’s Corvette falling from the plane]
Vince Larkin: I know a good body shop in Fresno if it’s insured.
Duncan Malloy: I was bored with that car anyway.
Vince Larkin: It worked out nicely, then.
Cyrus Grissom: Considering my audience, I’m going to make this very quick and very simple. [points to objects in the sand]
Cyrus Grissom: This is the boneyard, this is the hanger, this is our plane.
Viking: [points] What’s that?
Cyrus Grissom: That’s a rock.
[knocks it out of the way]
Some of the one-liners made me laugh out loud at the sheer cheesiness of the delivery. Consequently, this made me think about other films I’ve watched recently. I often find that the worst lines in a film are what makes them so good:
“Kenner, just incase we get killed, I wanted to tell you, you have the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man…” Brandon Lee – Showdown In Little Tokyo.
“You’re a virus, and I’m the cure.” Stallone – Cobra.
“Death. Courts adjourned.” Stallone – Judge Dredd
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” Liam Neeson – Taken
“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.” Hayden Christiansen – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
“Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.” Andi McDowell – Four Weddings and A Funeral
Maverick: I feel the need…
Maverick/Goose: …the need for speed! Tom Cruise – Top Gun
“It’s turkey time. Gobble gobble.” Jennifer Lopez – Gigli
[the T-1000 has fallen into a vat of molten steel]
John Connor: Is it dead?
The Terminator: Terminated. Arnold Schwarzenegger – Terminator
Vilain: You must want to hurt me bad.
Barney Ross: I’m not gonna hurt you. I’m gonna take your life. The Expendables 2
“I know he loves you. He’d kill tigers for you.” Marissa Tomei – Only You
I wonder what the reaction of the real – world population would be if we actually used these lines in our daily conversation… I can imagine a few slaps across the face or large amounts of eye-rolling would occur. I love them – bring on the Brie!
What about you? What are your favourite cheesy lines from your favourite films?
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Picture credits: stills from Con Air