The Rock Review

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A disposal bomb expert is forced to team up with the only man ever to escape Alcatraz, now under maximum security for a mystery reason, to break into the Rock and thwart the evil plans of a disgruntled ex-army general.

★★★★

Bad Boys. Armageddon. Pearl Harbor. When arguing with people who believe the Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay collaboration is a cinematic axis of evil, that trio provides evidence that's hard to dispute. Yet just introduce The Rock into conversation and watch them founder.

Yes, it's got all the hallmarks of a standard B 'n' B production - it's loud and bombastic, it's crammed with orange filters and epilepsy-inducing editing, and it doesn't make a great deal of sense. But set against that is the fact that it's breathlessly exciting, as Nic Cage and Sean Connery break into Alcatraz to thwart Ed Harris' disgruntled general from bombing San Francisco with lethal nerve gas.

The superb action is choreographed with zing by Bay, before he mutated into Jim Cameron-lite. And the film has a real trump card in Harris' conflicted bad guy - it's a rare and intelligent move for a big budget studio venture to feature a villain with an agenda that's hard not to sympathise with.

Luckily he's matched by the quality of the heroes. While The Rock proved that Connery could still cut the mustard as an OAP action star, it was the making of Cage as action hero, his wild and wired approach gelling perfectly with Conneryís gruff demeanour.

And when theyíre not shooting Alcatraz to bits, they're the funniest buddy-movie double-act in years. In short, The Rock has more pizzazz than an entire roomful of Dwayne Johnsons.

Loud and bombastic, it's crammed with orange filters and epilepsy-inducing editing, heroic leads and it doesn't make a great deal of sense. Entertaining action, nothing more nor less.