The Rock

Bomb Rating: 

Tunnels underneath Alcatraz are one thing, but are we supposed to keep a straight face when Cage and Connery drop through the floor into mining cars?

The production team responsible for this movie, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, also produced "Top Gun" and "Days of Thunder," so you already know their suspension-of-disbelief threshold is off the charts because they obviously think Tom Cruise can act. General Hummel's (Ed Harris) theft of chemical weapons from a military base is about that believable. As you're watching the movie, ask yourself this question: "Where do the suspended ropes come from?"

Actually, the military hocus pocus is almost tolerable. What is really annoying is the idea that somebody thinks having Dr. Morrison (David Morse) from "St. Elsewhere" run around as Hummel's second-in-command isn't a sure tip-off to a doomed mission. As the most pathetic character in the history of television, Dr. Morrison could hardly take a step without having to sweep up the debris from his crumbling life. We're supposed to believe this guy has a chance to collect money from the U.S. government by threatening to launch weapons from Alcatraz onto the unsuspecting citizens of San Francisco?

Obviously, chemical weapons specialist Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) and the only man to ever break out of Alcatraz, John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), are going to defeat Hummel, Dr. Morrison and their crack operating team. It's just a matter of when and how.

Like most Simpson/Bruckheimer films, everything is taken one step too far. The score sounds like the same one from "Top Gun," only in a different key. There are more subplots than needles on a pine tree. Tunnels underneath Alcatraz are one thing, but are we supposed to keep a straight face when Cage and Connery drop through the floor into mining cars? You know you've been had when your movie makes that ever-so-subtle shift from film to theme park ride.

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