The Rock’s 5 most explosive scenes to watch again on the big screen during Action Season

The Rock is back on the big screen as part of April's Action Season. Revel in this quintessential 1990s blockbuster that pairs Sean Connery with Nicolas Cage as they go to war with Ed Harris' intriguingly conflicted villain.

Harris plays General Hummel, a rogue military commander who is holding San Francisco hostage with the threat of a chemical weapons attack from his base on the notorious Alcatraz prison. He wants recognition for the patriots who died under his command. Now, it's up to Connery's ex-SAS operative John Mason and Cage's quirky, out-of-his-depth biochemist Stanley Goodspeed to infiltrate the prison and save the day.

The Rock is excessive, over-the-top, loud and we love it to bits. It encapsulates the gung-ho bravado and mayhem of the era in which it was made, and we're inviting you to revel in the spectacle on the big screen. Here are the movie's five most explosive scenes.


1. San Francisco car chase

The Rock isn't confined to Alcatraz. We only get there about a third of the way into the movie. Our primer is the awesome and demented car chase up, down and along the famous hills of San Francisco as Mason's purloined Humvee attempts to outrun Goodspeed's sleek yellow Ferrari.

It's a Michael Bay movie, and one produced by Jerry Bruckheimer at that, so expect repetitious shots of the same explosion that drown us in all manner of gorgeous vehicular excess. Plus, the rampant use of slo-mo and electric guitar work on the soundtrack distinguishes this as the most '90s of all 1990s blockbusters. In truth, it wouldn't work without the delicious chalk-and-cheese chemistry between former Bond Connery and action-hero-in-the-making Cage, here starring in the first of a sensational blockbuster trio that also encompassed Face/Off and Con Air (both released in 1997).



2. The Navy SEALs are taken down

The underrated Michael Biehn, best known as James Cameron's muse in the likes of The Terminator and Aliens, puts in a strong showing as the noble but ill-fated Navy SEAL leader in this tragic and bullet-ridden sequence. It's as operatically overblown as the rest of the movie but helps establish clear dramatic stakes over what's to come: Mason and Goodspeed's allies are now dead, and the two must face Hummel on their own.

It's also an effective sequence for fleshing out the villain. Harris's rogue military commander is no one-dimensional nemesis but a man who seeks to avoid the worst possible outcome while also pursuing a dangerous course of his own making. Sadly, in this instance, the actions of Hummel's men speak louder than words.



3. Shootout in the morgue

Michael Bay is never one for subtlety. Sparks fly and bullet casings sprinkle the ground as Goodspeed and Mason launch cadavers out of morgue cabinets and engage Hummek's men in a pitched battle. It's crass, silly and once again elevated by Cage and Connery's chemistry. The latter was reportedly so displeased by the script that he had significant chunks of it rewritten by Porridge creators Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Goes to show what genuine star power can do for one's movie.



4. The Rocket Man

It's Cage vs the Candyman (in reality, Tony Todd) in the dramatic final showdown. With Hummel dead, Goodspeed must deal with the remaining mercenaries who are hellbent on fulfilling the plan of nuking San Francisco. 

It's little more than a set-up for a hilariously contrived and cheesy Elton John gag, but in Nic Cage's mouth, even the clunkiest of lines have a sense of wonderful offbeat poetry. Again, only in the 1990s.



5. Green smoke

With San Francisco saved, Bay isn't about to renege on his promise of one big cathartic explosion at the end of the film. It comes when Goodspeed uses the green smoke from his distress flares to call in the cavalry and firebomb Alcatraz to take out Hummel's remaining operatives. That's not something that's included in the Alcatraz tourist guidebooks.



Click the link below to book your tickets for The Rock. It screens as part of Action Season on April 11th.