Characters: Con Air

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    Jailbird Passengers 

Cameron Poe

"Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you."
Played By: Nicolas Cage

  • Apple of Discord: Attempts this when asking why a militant black man like Diamond Dog is taking orders from a skinhead white guy. It fails when Diamond Dog explicitly says he's The Starscream.
  • Badass: Best example is probably when he takes a bullet in the arm and doesn't even blink.
  • Big Damn Heroes
    What do you think I'm gonna do? I'm gonna save the fuckin' day.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Can't get himself to leave Baby-O or the remaining guards to due.
  • Genre Savvy: Suspects that Cindino is going to double-cross them (though part of this was to save the guards from being executed by Diamond Dog). Either way, he was right.
  • Honor Before Reason: He's questioned by several people as to why he didn't get off the plane when he had the chance. He simply refused to leave diabetic Baby-O behind with no insulin.

Mike “Baby-O” O’Dell

Played By: Mykelti Williamson

  • Badass: He's shown in the beginning saving Cameron from a fire during a riot, burning his arm in the process.
  • Determinator: Tries to rescue Bishop from Johnny 23 while in the late stages of dying from lack of insulin.
  • Ill Guy: He's diabetic, and a scene has Poe going after insulin.

Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I have the only gun on board. Welcome to Con Air."
Played By: John Malkovich

  • Badass: With emphasis on BAD, but he's still pretty awesome.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Dies by being chained to the ladder of a speeding fire engine, hurled through a bridge and onto some electrical wires paralyzing him and finally getting his head crushed in a rock crusher.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Somehow built a bomb in his cell in case his jailbreak plan is found.
  • Red Baron: "The Virus"
  • Villainous Breakdown: He loses his composure first when Poe stabs him in the leg, then when he is cuffed just as the fire truck crashes.

Nathan Jones AKA “Diamond Dog”

Played By: Ving Rhames

  • Leeroy Jenkins: Was the first of the cons to escape and he tackles a bunch of cups by himself shouting "Allah u Akbar!"

Garland "Marietta Mangler" Greene

Played By: Steve Buscemi

  • Affably Evil: He's one of the most dangerous men on the plane - but calm, snarky and seemingly harmless.
  • Brick Joke: Unaccounted for after the ending plane crash. We don't see any of him until right before the credits... when he turns out to have made an absolute fortune gambling in Vegas.
  • Deadpan Snarker: With quotes such as "Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash."
  • Dissonant Serenity: A plane crash couldn't crack this man.
  • Chewing the Scenery: When he sings "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" during the plane crash.
  • Creepy Monotone: Most of his scenes...
  • The Dreaded: Three of the most criminals in the country gets trumped by a little man in white.
  • Karma Houdini: Though all his villainy is in his backstory. During the movie Garland instinctively realizes Poe is a good guy pretending to be a hard con, and has a lengthy dialogue about ironic situations about how a good man has to act evil to survive. The fact that Garland intentionally leaves a little girl alive during the plane refueling hints that by the end of the movie Garland has decided to act good.
  • Informed Attribute: Had supposedly killed more people than any convict on the plane, and had the absolute highest amount of security for transporting him. However, whilst he definitely alludes to having formerly killed people, we never really see any of his murderous aspects on-screen, to the point where it looks like he just might have been cured of them. It's still implied that he murdered one of the guards, and that doing so made him "feel better".

William "Billy Bedlam" Bedford

Played By: Nick Chinlund

  • Disproportionate Retribution: Caught his wife in bed with another man. He left them alone, but drove four towns over to his wife's family's house. He proceeded to kill her parents, her brothers, her sisters, and even her dog.

"Swamp Thing"

Played By: MC Gainey

  • Affably Evil: He seems like a fun guy except for the company he keeps. MC Gainey, who has a history of playing mostly villains, considers him a favourite.
  • Southern-Fried Genius
    Pinball: "What's up, man. So, you Swamp Thing?"
    Swamp Thing: "That's right."
    Pinball: "Flyin' the plane?"
    Swamp Thing: "That's right."
    Pinball: "It's amazing the shit you white trash know."
    Swamp Thing: (laughs) "That's right!"

Johnny Baca AKA “Johnny 23”

Played By: Danny Trejo

  • An Arm and a Leg: Loses his tattoo arm, not to mention his life, in the plane crash.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Dies (or so we must assume) when one or both of his handcuffed arms are torn from the rest of his body. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
  • Meaningful Name: So named because he was convicted of 23 counts of rape. He claimed to raped more than 23 women, though.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil
    Cyrus: "I despise rapists. For me, you're somewhere between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty. But, in your case, I'll make an exception."
  • Tattooed Crook: Courtesy of being played by Danny Trejo. Notably, Johnny states that 23 tattoos on his arm each represent the 23 women he raped.

Joe "Pinball" Parker

Played By: Dave Chappelle

  • Affably Evil
    Pinball: "Armed robber, arsonist, dope fiend. I'm a hell of a Nice Guy. I just got caught."

Francisco Cindino

Played By: Jesse Borrego

  • Blatant Lies
    Cindino: "We were coming... to get you."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: From what Poe knows of Cindino's history, he guesses that the drug lord's probably not the best of allies. He was right.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Decides to leave the rest of the cons when things start to get hectic. Though he was planning to do so in the first place.

Ramon "Sally-Can't-Dance" Martinez

Played By: Renoly Santiago

  • Bury Your Gays: Subverted. He is one of the few survivors. He was however the first to get re-arrested.

    Jailbird Staff 

Guard Sally Bishop

Played By: Rachel Ticotin

  • Defiant Captive: Spends most of the movie handcuffed, but she remains absolutely FEARLESS against the cons, including kicking away Johnny-23 when he tries to rape her.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Only female guard of the Jailbird staff.

Guard Falzon

Played By: Steve Eastin

  • Deadpan Snarker: "The in-flight movie is I'll Never Make Love To A Woman On The Beach Again and it's preceded by the award-winning short No More Steak For Me, EVER."

    Law Enforcement 

US Marshal Vince Larkin

Played By: John Cusack

  • Badass: Shining example has got to be when he saves the soldiers from the prisoners in a bulldozer.
  • Description Porn: Describes Billy Bedlam, Diamond Dog and Cyrus the Virus but skimps when it comes to Poe.
  • Strawman Political: An interesting case. He's every bit the liberal stereotype... except he's also the competent, on-point badass Deuteragonist.

DEA Agent Duncan Molloy

Played By: Colm Meaney

  • Cowboy Cop: Pursues the cons with complete disregard for the Jailbird staff hostages.
  • Pet the Dog: He cancels his order to shoot down the plane when he talks to Poe directly via radio and is told of his plight.