Air Force One (1997)

(In theaters, July 1997) Harrison Ford is perfect as a butt-kicking president in this good -but not great- thriller. When terrorists take over Air Force One, it’s to the president himself to kill the bad guys and free his family. Will he survive automatic weapons, the White House switchboard, shoddy dialogue and three climaxes? (Cinematic climaxes, not the other kind.) Average performances from the rest of the actors, the directing is fine, the special effects are okay but the editing could have been better, and the film shorter. The script, however, needs an overhaul: One villain’s motivation (or absence thereof) is especially irritating and the president overtly betrays his own ideals in a scene quickly glossed over. Jingoistic flag-waving makes parts of this movie ridiculous to non-US audiences. A worthy video rental, but you might want to rent Executive Decision again for a (slightly) better big-plane thriller.

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