"Con Air, " the 1997 high-flying thriller, is predominately set on a prisoner transportation aircraft which has been taken over by a group of convicts with an elaborate plan to escape captivity. The film not only follows all of the drama in the sky, but also the forces on the ground that are trying to control any potential damage from the event.
The main character is Cameron Poe (played by Nicholas cage), a former highly decorated United States Army Ranger who was sent to prison for manslaughter after killing a man while protecting his wife during a drunken brawl. United States Marshall Vince Larkin (John Cusak) helps Poe out of a sticky situation on a plane full of dangerous criminals, such as Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom (Jon Malkovich) and Garland “The Marietta Mangler” Greene (Steve Buscemi).
When the main character, Poe, becomes eligible for parole, he is sent home to his family on a guarded plane with several dangerous criminals aboard. Poe unexpectedly finds himself in the convicts' plot to overthrow the guards and use the plane to escape to freedom. Poe must toe the line by playing along with the criminals so they will keep him alive and collaborating with a U.S. Marshal, Vince Larkin, who is helping Poe to stop the criminals and ensure his own freedom.
The movie opens with the prisoners being transferred to the relocation aircraft, which is en route to Alabama where Poe will be reunited with his family. The majority of the film is set in the airplane and chronicles the onboard action. After being taken off course by the cons, the plane eventually crashes in the Las Vegas area and the chase continues on the ground.
Con Air was directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The bulk of the interior plane shots during the movie were shot on sound stages, although both the Ogden. Utah airport and Wendover Air Force Base were used during the filming of Con Air, according to Visit Ogden (visitogden.com). The film was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Song” for the tune “How Do I Live?” by Trisha Yearwood. According to Box Office Mojo, Con Air grossed over 100 million dollars.
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images