SVS: “Air Force One”

SVS: “Air Force One” November 20, 2015

AF3And suddenly, I feel old.

Today’s recommendation is made in honor of seeing an aging Harrison Ford on every single page of the InterWebs for the past week. But the fact that he’s so clearly aging is not what’s making me feel old.

No, that comes from the fact that Air Force One, currently streaming on AMAZON PRIME INSTANT and for rent from NUMEROUS OTHERS($)was made almost twenty years ago.

But I saw it in theaters when it came out, and I don’t feel like it’s been anywhere near twenty years. Or at least I didn’t; not until just now. Part of that response is probably connected to the fact that as long as you put aside a few weird CGI moments featuring the plane itself, it’s aged surprisingly well (for an action movie). Better than either Harrison Ford or myself, I suspect.

Is it profound? Nope. Important? Nonsense. Politically or ethnically nuanced? Not so much. Cutting-edge, original, or (even remotely) plausible? Hahahah!

Fun action flick, though? Oh, for sure. And it’s Friday night, right?

Russian terrorists conspire to hijack Air Force One with the president and his family on board, forcing the commander-in-chief into an impossible predicament: give in to the terrorists and save his family, or risk everything to uphold his principles.

I quite vividly remember seeing it with my future wife (and future father-in-law), even to this distant day. And even though this was well before my transition (descent?) into film snobbery, I thought that it still boasts a handful of memorable features:

President Marshall might not the best character Ford’s played post-Crusade (“at least until December,” he says, crossing his fingers) but it’s easily the most fun I’ve had with him since Crusade. And Gary Oldman’s wildly-over-the-top Russian villain is a tremendous amount of fun, as well, though he’s surely been better in the years since. (You know who hasn’t been better since, though? Wolfgang Peterson. What a strange career that man’s had. From the spectacular Das Boot all the way through to the spectacularly-terrible Troy? Gosh.)


Another highlight for me? Jerry Goldsmith. He was hired to replace Randy Newman’s “reportedly too dark and insufficiently patriotic” score, and a quick listen to “Welcome Aboard, Sir” or “The Parachutes” will show how thoroughly he rectified that particular problem (in only 12 days, though with a bit of help). It’s not one of his greatest themes, but it’s probably my favorite use of the Goldsmith Trumpets ever. And it features some really fine action-scoring, as well.

Oh. And Obligatory Xander Berkeley mention.

Get off my plane!!!

AF4Attribution(s): Posters, images, and stills are the property of Columbia Pictures and other respective production studios and distributors.

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