Knock the Rock

Speaking of Sean Connery and hair, The Rock sees fit to cover the sexiest bald pate in the world (next to my own) with not one but two ridiculous hairpieces: a long, stringy wig that makes Connery look like an old washerwoman; and, after the movie displays its sophisticated sense of humor by poking fun at an effeminate hairstylist called upon to shear Mason's locks, some tufts of powdery white fuzz that sit atop his scalp like a patch of bleached AstroTurf. Nicolas Cage's rapidly thinning mane also looks artificially bulked up, either by a weave or by meticulously careful combing, spraying, and lighting. The Rock casts three bald actors to play its leads, then covers up two of them (Ed Harris sports a military buzz cut). Why bother? Because Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer have a strict formula to follow, and male pattern baldness isn't part of it.

Fake hair or no, the Connery/Cage/Harris trifecta will keep cineplex turnstiles spinning. The Rock should roll smoothly down the well-worn Simpson-Bruckheimer path to box-office success. The movie offers more than enough mindless action sequences to satisfy the average adolescent adrenaline junkie. Then again, Mission: Impossible is still going strong and could smash The Rock to rubble. Now that would be poetic justice: Don Simpson's last film ground into dust by a balls-out, pedal-to-the-metal actioner starring Tom Cruise -- whose career took off into the stratosphere with Simpson-Bruckheimer's 1986 Top Gun -- and directed by Brian De Palma, one of the few filmmakers whose reputation for stylistic motion picture excess rivals Simpson's own.

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