Power of ’90s Nostalgia & Big Budget Baddies, From Face/Off to Con Air

As comic books and cinematic “universes” continue prescribing a template for cartoonish villainy, one could argue the originality of baddies is a thing of the past, leaving actors only the task of out-quirking their predecessor.

But before the deluge of gritty reboots, the ’90s saw a conveyor belt of performances that seemed to come from nowhere, appealing in their freshness and sardonic humor.

As the heyday for disturbing yet undeniably enjoyable portrayals of evil and transgression, three standalone action films allowed the most celebrated actors to chew the scenery without the armor of lycra and makeup.

Steve Buscemi relished his cut-price Hannibal Lecter in Con Air, John Travolta unnervingly glided through his psychopathic turn in Face/Off, and notorious grouch Tommy Lee Jones, lit up the screen in his bandana and delicious line delivery in Under Siege.

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