The "Con Air" Plot

by Charles Hayward

"Con Air" is about a group of criminals' attempt to escape on a hijacked airplane.

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"Con Air" is a movie released in June, 1997. Approximately two hours long, tt was directed by Simon West and written by Scott Rosenberg and grossed slightly more than $24 million during the weekend of its release and more than $223 million in total. "Con Air" features several popular actors like Nicholas Cage, John Cusak and John Malkovich.


Cameron Poe (played by Nicholas Cage) is an Army Ranger recently returned from fighting in Iraq. He is at a bar with his pregnant wife when several other patrons start trouble with him. The other patrons follow Poe and his wife outside. Things become violent and, in the act of defending his wife, Poe accidentally kills one of the men. He is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to several years in jail.


The movie flashes forward eight years to the day Poe is being paroled from prison, which is also the birthday of the daughter he's never met. He is placed on a prisoner transport plane with a group of extremely dangerous convicts to be delivered home. An undercover federal law enforcement agent, Willie Sims, is also on the plane. The flight goes awry when a group of prisoners, led by Cyrus Grissom (played by John Malkovich) successfully enact a prearranged plan to take over the plane.


The recently paroled Poe tries to hide his identity as a free man while attempting to foil the criminals' escape plan. Poe attempts to alert law enforcement agents through various means. When one of the criminals is murdered, Poe attaches a note to his body before pushing the corpse out of the plane. Poe also tries to persuade Sims from fighting the criminals, but is unsuccessful and Sims is killed. When the plane lands in Carson City, NV to transfer prisoners, Poe hands the deceased Sims' tape recorder to a guard. Before law enforcement agents are able to determine what is happening aboard the plane, however, the criminals get away.

The End

The prisoner transport plane crash lands at an abandoned airfield where a second plane is supposed to be waiting to take them out of the country. Meanwhile, U.S. Marshall Vince Larkin (played by John Cusack) has been alerted to the convicts' plot through Poe's efforts. Larkin calls troops in to the airfield, but the convicts learn of their approach and set a trap. Poe and Larkin meet briefly and Poe is able to tell Larkin of the trap, saving the soldiers. The convicts take off in the damaged plane. Grissom learns that Poe has been helping law enforcement, but the plane crashes in Las Vegas before he is able to do anything about it. In Las Vegas, Poe and Larkin pursue and kill Grissom before he is able to escape. Poe is then reunited with his wife and daughter.

About the Author

Charles Hayward has been writing professionally since 2010, covering local government, schools and the occasional sporting event. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College, where his multidisciplinary studies included coursework in the social sciences and humanities.

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