Monday, April 23, 2012

Con Air (1997)

This is a solid movie. Former Army Ranger Cameron Poe (Nicolas Cage) is sentenced to a maximum-security federal prison to serve a 12-year term for killing a man who tried to assault him and his pregnant wife. During this time, he communicates with his wife and new daughter through letters and pictures. After eight years he is released on good behavior, and is excited for the chance to finally meet his daughter. He is put on an aircraft to be sent home, along with several dangerous criminals who are being transferred. During the flight mastermind Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom (John Malkovich) decides that the prisoners should hijack the airplane.

The title is based on the nickname for the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, when the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all civilian air service, JPATS was the only non-military air service allowed to continue flying in U.S. airspace. Some of the filming took place in Salt Lake City and at the Wendover Airport. The old wartime bomber base in Wendover was used for the aircraft boneyard scenes with the original swimming pool at the base. On August 29, 1996, Phillip Swartz, a welder, was crushed to death in Wendover when a static model of the C-123 fell on him. Another filming location included Ogden Airport in Utah where the exchange of prisoners is seen.

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