Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Air Force One (1997)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, Liesel Matthews, Paul Guilfoyle, Xander Berkeley, William H. Macy, Dean Stockwell, Tom Everett, Jurgen Prochnow, Philip Baker Hall

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Harrison Ford is the President of the United States.

Plot: The President of the USA goes to Moscow and gives a stirring speech outlining the USA's new "Zero-tolerance" policy with respect to terrorism. On the flight home, terrorists take over Air Force One (the President's official plane) and take the passengers (including his wife and daughter) hostage. The terrorists plan to execute one hostage every half-hour unless/until their demands are met. However, the President is a former Medal of Honor winner, so the terrorists may be in for a surprise...

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

AIR FORCE ONE requires a lot of suspension of disbelief.  For starters, we'll NEVER have a president as cool as Harrison Ford (as he portrayed the president in this picture, not the actor who makes increasingly bad film choices).  That screams fiction right there.  The rest of the movie is a 'this is bullshit/that wouldn't happen' kind of thing left and right.  That said, it's a really fun movie.  From the opening notes of Jerry Goldsmith's score (boy, do I miss him) to the high action, down to the wire ending, it's a fun ride that doesn't let up much.  I remember seeing this opening weekend in the theater and coming out with a bad taste in my mouth.  It's a somewhat ridiculous movie and that line that Ford says to Oldman, "Get off my plane!" really rubbed me the wrong way.  It was just too much.  This picture felt like the beginning of a great downfall for Ford, who at the time was one of my all time favorite actors and it's pretty clear at this point that his best work is far behind him.  AFO is a better picture now than when I saw it back in '97. It is what it is - a big, ridiculous action popcorn movie that delivers on the entertainment and I'm now OK with that.

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