"The Rock" is about the San Francisco prison island of Alcatraz, aka the prison that is impossible to escape from. But as it turns out ... IT ISN'T IMPOSSIBLE AT ALL. Because one person has successfully escaped. And that person is Sean Connery.
... a very, very insane-looking Sean Connery.
The movie starts with the introduction of the villains: a group of US Marines led by Ed Harris, with extremely confused motives and even more confused methods. These Marines -- you know, the Marine Corps: Semper Fi, leave no man behind, death before dishonor, vow to protect America and her citizens from harm -- are mad at the government for something or other so they take a bunch of (American) tourists hostage and then hijack some deadly VX rockets and threaten to fire them into San Francisco and kill a bunch of (American) civilians if their demands are not met. Because the Marines would totally do that and this movie is not at all propaganda.
Pictured: a dude who would totally kidnap and indiscriminately murder a bunch of American citizens, because America sucks.
Oh, by the way, the tourists they've taken hostage? They were taking a tour ... of ALCATRAZ!
I'm serious, bro!
Obviously, the FBI does the only reasonable thing, which is to recruit Sean Connery to help them because as the only man to have escaped from Alcatraz, he is also the only man who can sneak in a team in to stop Ed Harris and the evil Marine Corps from killing innocent Americans. Apparently, Alcatraz was built upon a network of tunnels that no one has ever bothered to map, and Connery is the only guy who knows the way.
After some brief shenanigans (including a high-speed car chase through San Francisco, because ?????), Connery agrees to help them sneak onto The Rock. And guess who has to go with them to defuse the rockets? FBI chemical weapons specialist NICOLAS CAGE (who is totally believable* as a super-genius scientist guy).
*totally believable? more like UNBELIEVABLY BELIEVABLE!
Cage is pretty worried about the whole mission, seeing as how he has no combat experience and is just a lowly lab scientist. He and Connery form a cute odd couple partnership that is both totally effective and also good for a few yucks.
Look, I don't mean to criticize, but I'm just saying that maybe a little slapstick comedy with the vials of VX gas shattering all over the place could have made the movie better. Especially if they killed both of these characters. You know, like the scene in Borat where he keeps falling and knocking over all that Confederate memorabilia?? Just something to keep in mind for the sequel.
Connery successfully sneaks the team into Alcatraz, at which point he announces in his trademark hillbilly Scottish accent like a mouthful of caramel, "Welcome to The Rock." Jesse likes to say this in a pretty spot-on Connery impersonation at just about every opportunity.
I'll take "the rapist" for 400.
Then, I don't know, I guess Nic Cage defuses the bombs or something and all those dastardly Marines are killed. I think one of the rockets fires but they screw up the trajectory so it just lands harmlessly in San Francisco bay. I don't remember anything after filthy hobo Sean Connery says "Welcome to The Rock," because that was the only part worth remembering.
I mean honestly, what are we supposed to make of a movie where the US Marine Corps are the villains and a Scottish bum and Nic Cage are the heroes? Of course, my revulsion has never once stopped me from turning this movie on if I see it on TV. Jesse and I even watched it in our hotel room one night during our honeymoon, because f**k it, The Rock is on.
We could have been splashing around the swim-up bar.
I'm so ashamed.