John Travolta, a high-ranking FBI official, and Nicolas Cage, a trendily oversexed supercriminal, pull the old identity swap with a certain amount of aplomb, but there’s no mystery in Mike Werb and Michael Colleary’s script about who will prevail in the final confrontation—you don’t even wonder how good will triumph over evil. An air of self-importance—as if this actioner were a bold new combination of genre bits and pieces, including those pioneered by director John Woo himself—creates expectations too high to prevent disappointment. Though I’m not sure the filmmaker didn’t anticipate the laughter that arises at each predictable turn in the plot, this self-deprecation only makes the movie bland, not campy. Things get hopelessly pretentious when a little boy witnesses a violent showdown and an adult shoves headphones over his ears to minimize his trauma; ironic music plays while we watch through his eyes as a bunch of desperate, grandiose people try to kill one another. Too contrived to be effectively self-referential, this scene is slowed down, hazy, and peppered with extreme close-ups of bullets issuing from the mouths of guns—it was clearly designed to make us believe the filmmakers were examining their role in crafting a violent scene that should cause us to examine our role in watching it. But instead of seeming thoughtful or socially responsible, it comes across as disingenuous. Woo has directed some amazing movies—this isn’t one of them.