Reviewed by: Donna Hutchcroft
approx. 120 min.
Alcatraz has been taken over! A group of angry Marines determined to make the military pay millions to the families of fallen comrades (lost in covert operations) have taken the tourists on the island hostage. The outlaw Marines threaten to use deadly chemical rockets against nearby San Francisco if their demands are not met.
The government sends a team of Navy Seals to break into Alcatraz and disable the weapons. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicholas Cage) an FBI chemical weapons expert, has the knowledge to disarm them, but he is basically a lab rat and not a field agent. To work through the series of underground mazes in Alcatraz the FBI pardons Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), a military prisoner for over 30 years. Mason was the only man to ever escape from Alcatraz.
There are numerous bloody and graphic scenes, military style. In some men are killed by falling objects, or impaled on poles. Explosions, throat slittings and snapping necks also claim victims. There are even gruesome scenes of men dying from exposure to the deadly gas. (I think the point of death could have been made without the vulgarities of spasm-wracked bodies shown here.)
Foul/objectionable language is frequent, and one of the Ten Commandments—Thou Shalt Not Use The Lord’s Name in Vain—seems to have been forgotten altogether! Further, Dr. Goodspeed lives with his pregnant girlfriend, and a scene where they make love while wearing their bathrobes is shown.
This exciting movie has a multitude of suspenseful scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat. Humor is mixed in as well, giving the film good balance, and the audience a chance to momentarily relax with laughter.
I recommend this film only for mature audiences (over 18), and then only with the warning regarding its graphic violence. I do not recommend it for a Christian couple’s “date movie.”
Year of Release—1996