The Rock | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Very entertaining action hokum, The Rock benefits hugely from the uses made of the three stars--Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, and Ed Harris. Harris, evoking Dr. Strangelove's Buck Turgidson, 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 at 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. Though it's high-octane nonsense, the film gives the audience all that's needed to make it engaging--car chases, wisecracks, narrow escapes, and explosions. Michael Bay directed from a script by David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, and Mark Rosner. With Michael Biehn, William Forsythe, and Vanessa Marcil. Ford City, Biograph, Burnham Plaza, Gardens, Golf Mill, Lincoln Village, North Riverside, Water Tower, Bel-Air, Drive-In, Hyde Park, Norridge.

--Jonathan Rosenbaum

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