From the Chicago Reader (April 1, 1992). — J.R.
Very entertaining 1996 action hokum that benefits hugely from the use of its three stars — Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris. Harris, evoking Dr. Strangelove’s Jack D. Ripper, is a brigadier general so angry about the U.S. government’s refusal to honor the soldiers who died in covert operations that he kidnaps a bunch of tourists on Alcatraz and threatens to hit the mainland with lethal poison gas if reparations aren’t made immediately. Connery is a top-secret federal prisoner who once escaped from Alcatraz and Cage is an FBI chemist and biological weapons expert; together they form a funny and crotchety action duo pitted against Harris and his renegade commandos. Michael Bay directed from a script by David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, and Mark Rosner that’s high-octane nonsense but gives both the actors and the audience all that’s needed to make this diverting — car chases, wisecracks, narrow escapes, explosions. With Michael Biehn, William Forsythe, and Vanessa Marcil. (JR)