There are no rough edges in Woo's second Hollywood outing. Working with more money than on his first (the unhappy Hard Target), a better cast and a script by Graham Yost (Speed), the director has fashioned a high-powered, streamlined, comfortably ludicrous entertainment in which bomber pilots Travolta and Slater go mano-a-mano in the Arizona desert, with two hot nuclear warheads between them. If movies were censored for implausiblility, this would be deemed unfit for public viewing. It's incredible in both senses of the word. You're never bored in a Woo movie: he's the kind of stylist who does everything to the max. Mostly what he does is action, and this script is tailor-made: a series of superb set-pieces in which a nuclear explosion is far from the climax. If the movie feels more callous than Speed, that's partly because Slater and spunky park ranger Mathis lack the warmth of Reeves and Bullock, but the charismatically crazy Travolta has the measure of it. This is just what Hollywood wanted of John Woo: more bang for the buck. The scary part is, where does he go from here?
Cast and crew