Air Force One (1997) / Action-Thriller

MPAA Rated: R for violence
Running Time: 124 min.

Cast: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, Liesel Matthews
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Screenplay: Andrew W. Marlowe

Review published January 25, 1998

The US President (Ford, Sabrina) delivers a speech to citizens of Russia dictating the "zero-tolerance" policy the United States will be taking against terrorists. On board Air Force One on the flight home, some terrorists take over the plane and demand the release of a former leader of their movement to restore the old Russia. What they don't know is the President is still on board, and willing to risk all he holds dear to save all aboard.

Solid acting, skillful directing, and stunning aerial special effects make this Die Hard-type actioner work well. Ford delivers a subtly brilliant performance as the President, and director Petersen (In the Line of Fire, Shattered) keeps the action moving along briskly, with quite a few surprises to keep the action from predictability.

The script by Andrew W. Marlowe (End of Days, Hollow Man) isn't particularly great, containing several lines that are a bit hokey when delivered with seriousness, but the rousing score from Jerry Goldsmith (First Contact, Chain Reaction) and non-stop action still make this film the best of its kind since the original Die Hard. Nothing groundbreaking here, but definitely delivers the goods for action fans.

Qwipster's rating:

1998 Vince Leo