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How Well Did “The Rock” Action Film Do?

The Rock is a multi-awarded American action film directed by Michael Bay and written by Quentin Tarantino. The film starred Nicholas Cage, Ed Harris, and Sean Connery, some of the biggest names in the genre. But did you ever wonder how well the film did in general?

The Rock was a nineties film directed by Michael Bay. It starred Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage. It was the only film Bay directed that earned a “certified fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Roger Ebert’s Review of “The Rock”

The Rock was a 1996 Action film directed by then little-known director Michael Bay who just got off with Bad Boys starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The film follows the story of unlikely partners, FBI chemical warfare expert Stanley Goodspeed played by Nicolas Cage, and former British spy John Patrick Mason played by Sean Connery.

The partners were sent on a mission to foil the plans of General Francis Hummel, played by Ed Harris. Hummel, disgruntled special forces general, was disillusioned by the US government and sought to have the government compensate 83 of his former soldiers. They died in a covert mission that the government did not recognize. Hummel plans to bomb the San Fransisco area should his demands not be met. (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)

Goodspeed and Mason were embedded in an elite unit to stop Hummel. Their main goal was to break into Alcatraz prison, where Hummel and his team had taken civilian hostages. Mason’s role in the group is to help them get in as he was the only person to have ever escaped the prison, while Goodspeed’s role was to disarm the biochemical weapon Hummel is using to threaten the government.

A well-known film critic and historian, Roger Ebert, finds that the movie is very stylish. Though it lacks originality as scenes are similar to other movies, director Bay ensured that each scene was well accomplished. (Source: Roger Ebert)

Ebert finds that the movie is action-packed, and recognizes similarities from previous movies like Bullitt, The Fugitive, Escape from Alcatraz, The Third Man, and Alien. The late critic also notes the acting chemistry of Cage and Connery in the film. However, Ebert also finds many holes in the plot, like the president not coming up with a decision with the ransom request of the antagonist. Ebert’s review is similar to the reviews found in Rotten Tomatoes, scoring 68% on their Tomatometer and 85% with 68 reviews, and the audience score with 250,000 ratings. (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)

Despite the mixed reviews and the relatively small production budget of The Rock at $75 million,  its success allowed it to earn $134 million in the US and Canadian box office and a whopping $335 million on the International box office. The opening weekend earned $25 million. (Source: IMDB)

Interesting Facts of the Making of The Rock

The 26-year-old film was definitely ahead of its time. But Bay and Tarantino went on to make some of the most iconic action films in movie history. Here are some interesting facts about the film’s production.

  • Godspeed’s role was initially offered to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer wanted to cast big Hollywood stars for the film. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger was unimpressed with the story.
  • Michael Bay was unknown at the time of the production, so Disney was limiting his budget to make the film. Connery thought Bay was a genius and used his leverage with the studio executives to provide Bay with more funding for the film.
  • Nicolas Cage improvised most of his lines in the film, giving his character a more outlandish personality than was initially written.

    (Source: Eighties Kids)

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