You can call this 90s action thriller Tom Clancy lite. Back before anyone could realistically imagine hijackers using a commercial airplane as a missile, this fictional tale sets up a Die Hard style scenario, sorta. Kurt Russell does a decent Jack Ryan, the government specialist unwittingly caught up in the middle of it. Halle Berry is one of the flight attendants that risks her life to stop the kamikaze group of terrorists who have placed a chemical weapon on a commercial 747.
The writing takes a turn to the tedious as a special forces team sneaks onboard the 747, and come across a steady series of setbacks. Especially tedious is the one terrorist who becomes suspicious of possible shenanigans Halle Berry is doing behind his back. This is the terrorist who seems to have ESP about the good guy's plan, but will stop as he is just about take that extra step, just about to uncover that hidden camera, or find that concealed manifest.
Mild spoiler ahead.....
Also tedious is the bomb expert of the military team being incapacitated, helping to grind the action to a halt.
....End mild spoiler
There is the unintended consequence of the military guys having to whisper throughout the entire ordeal. The whispering undercuts the potential of strong drama as the team tries to put their rescue plan in place. Meanwhile at the pentagon, an underwritten script leaves little real tension as the cliche military advisors gather in the situation room. Oh, yeah, the President stays off camera. It's up to the Secretary of the Defense to pick up the phone to call him. The Die Hard aspect comes as the good guys surreptitiously crawl under and above the passenger cabin, without being caught by the bad guys. The whole sneaking around fills out the second act, and lends to some dull build-up as the plot points slowly click off.
Things finally start to kick into action in the third act, and is fairly entertaining with mostly passable effects. Tom Clancy fans, looking for a copycat movie that is comparable to "Air Force One" (yes I know it's not a Tom Clancy story but who's kidding who), can do worse. Oh yes, I haven't mentioned Steven Seagal. Yes he is in this film, and comes off OK, but it really is a cameo and is not a major player in the rest of the film.
I give this film a 5 out of 10, with a workable cast and story, providing some tension and a few thrills.
Action / Adventure / Thriller
Action / Adventure / Thriller
Terrorists take over a 747 bound from Athens to Washington D.C., supposedly to effect the release of their leader. Intelligence expert David Grant suspects another reason and convinces the military that the 'plane should not be allowed to enter U.S. airspace. An assault mission is devised, using a specially equipped 'plane designed for mid-air crew transfers, and Grant finds himself aboard the 747 with a team of military anti-terrorists who have to defuse a bomb and overpower the terrorists.
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July 20, 2013 at 10:59 PM