Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fire Birds (1990)

Director: David Green

Writers: Step Tyner, Jahn K. Swensson, Dale Dye, Nick Thiel, Paul F. Edwards

Composer: David Newman

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, Sean Young, Bryan Kestner, Illana Diamant, Dale Dye, Mary Ellen Trainor, J.A. Preston, Peter Onorati, Charles Lanyer, Marshall R. Teague

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The best just got better.

Plot: The U.S. Government is willing to help any country that requires help in ridding themselves of drugs with support from the Army. Unfortunately, the drug cartels have countered that offer by hiring one of the best air-combat mercenaries and have armed him with a Scorpion attack helicopter. The army decides to send in it's best people from it's Apache Air Combat school. But first they have to be taught how to fly air-to-air combat mission.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

There are a lot of surprises to be found in this picture.  Tommy Lee Jones plays an ornery cuss, Nicolas Cage has difficulty showing any emotion besides rage and Sean Young takes her clothes off (again).  As you can see, this is the film that everyone decided to stretch beyond their comfort zone and really make a difference in their chosen field of acting. It's TOP GUN (1986) with helicopters and they're going after the drug cartels of South America.  It's a silly, macho pilot flick with Jake's (Cage) ego the size of Montana (but he really is good, see) and the bond he forms with Brad Little (Jones) and re-forms with Billie (Young). It's complete with a love montage backed with a Phil Collins-esque song.  [OMFG, I just looked up the soundtrack credits on IMDb and it WAS a Phil Collins song.]  Woof.  It's 85 minutes long, the first hour has very little conflict for the hero, Jake (who finds out he has an eye dominance problem which is very quickly remedied - really, that's the big challenge he faces, that and trying to win over Billie) and the last half hour is the big mission which is pretty uneventful except for the always fun Tommy Lee Jones.  He was the best part. Young does a fine job as usual and Cage...well, he was Cage.  There is a moment with Cage and Jones, just before the shit hits the fan, where Cage apologizes for being such a cocky sumbitch and Jones gives a nice little speech.  I really dug that scene.  Everything else is disposable.  It's not all that horrible of a picture but neither is it all that good.  I guess composer David Newman (one of my favorites) needed the paycheck.  It's not one of his finer moments for damn sure.

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