A person can only go through so many hardships before he or she starts to deteriorate mentally and/or physically. In the film, The Rock, a Brigadier General in the U.S. Marines named Frank Hummel (Ed Harris) finally goes insane. He has been through Vietnam, Panama, Granada, and Desert Storm; he has received three Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, and the Congressional Medal of Honor. Although it is easy at first to see Hummel's point-of-view, he then threatens the lives of eighty-one hostages and sixty to seventy thousand people in California while holding up the abandoned prison island, Alcatraz.
Hummel wants the government to send one hundred million dollars to an offshore bank account for reparations to families of dead Marine Force Recon members. Hummel rationalizes his barbaric actions by saying "A couple of hundred years ago, a few guys called Washington, Jefferson and Adams were branded as traitors by the British, and now they're called patriots. In time so shall we."" He threatens the government with a lethal substance called VX gas. VX gas cannot be destroyed with napalm like many other deadly gases. The government is forced to send a Navy Seal team, a chemical expert, and an ex-SAS British operative to breach insides Alcatraz and disable the rockets. The chemical expert, named Doctor Stanley Goodspeed (Nicholas Cage) is the sole man that can disable the rockets. The ex-SAS operative, John Mason (Sean Connery), is there to show the team how to get into the maximum security prison. Mason was the only prisoner to ever escape from Alcatraz. The only problem is that Mason is in prison awaiting a trial that will never come; he is considered to not exist. Mason is let out to help and escapes. The best scene of the film follows as Mason attempts to escape by Hummer and FBI Agent Goodspeed following behind in a beautiful yellow Ferrari. Goodspeed catches Mason and they go on with the mission.