Who would’ve thought Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery would make such a formidable action duo? It’s certainly not as great as it could’ve been, but the fact that The Rock didn’t end in a complete disaster is quite the pleasant surprise. We get to see one of Connery’s final acting roles, and one of Cage’s first action leads. It’s a solid enough beginning and end to two of Hollywood’s most efficient actors.
For a Michael Bay movie, The Rock really restrains itself on the explosions and action-packed hijinks that its contemporaries offer up. Maybe that’s the biggest surprise of all, a Bay movie that tones itself down on the explosions and focuses more on its dialogue and characters. It just goes to show that Bay can prove serviceable when he’s not blowing things up every four minutes.
His characters certainly aren’t as interesting as expected, but they serve well enough for an action-oriented movie. Connery’s performance as John Patrick Mason is filled with some catchy one-liners, decent action scenes and an expectedly strong performance from Connery. He pairs well with Cage’s Stanley Goodspeed, an expectedly uptight agent who is roped in to defusing the bombs stolen by the semi-villainous Francis Hummel (Ed Harris).
What I’m beginning to realise though is that the action throughout The Rock is really rather forgettable. Not providing anything of real memorability, nor is it anywhere near the realm of boring. There are some truly unique moments throughout, some pieces that just scream “90s action movie” with no reservations. It’s something I admire greatly, to consume the tropes of the genre so positively that the experience is one that any party can enjoy.
Considering Face/Off released the very next year, it’s clear to assume that The Rock is one of the more forgettable Nicolas Cage led action movies. It’s a forgettable Connery movie too, especially since the man was Bond for more than five movies. The two of them together are enjoyable enough, it’s just a shame it’s so forgettable. Surely worth a rewatch down the road, but nothing to really draw me back in either.