Absolutely silly but hugely enjoyable adventure with Neil Dickson proving he makes a good Biggles and Alex Hyde-White as Jim trying to bring some sanity (and losing)as he tries to make sense of whats happening. 1980s music that will only appeal to 1980s fans, nostalgic optical effects, an energy, passion and imagination by cast and crew you wouldn't be able to get in todays films, terrific aerial dogfights and chessy, yet endearing acting.
Film also wins points for omitting stupid slapstick in favour of comic, witty humour/dialogue. A lost gem that has all the charm in the world.
Looking back now this watering down of the Biggles legend to suit a modern, and American, audience smacks of cheap 80's cinema. But there's something brilliantly endearing about the whole affair.
Plot-wise, an American falls through hole in time to help WW1 flying ace James Bigglesworth uncover a devilish German plot to win the Great War. Cue fish out of water hi-jinks where the British are plummy and brave and the Germans evil and wear a lot of metal. It's all good boys own fun, with a bizarre Jon Anderson score helping things along at a cracking pace.
The action sequences, lots of Sopwith camel, Hun-bashing fisticuffs and one or two hairy moments with a helicopter aren't half bad. And it's genuinely scary when you see the effects of the German's secret weapon.
The dirt cheap DVD is a real gem with a decent making of, an Anderson pop promo and two fabulous archive pieces from Children's TV - one of which features the most earnest review of a film by a 10 year old you are ever likely to see, sample quote: "The special effects are amazing, the best I have ever seen."
It's the kind of unfounded enthusiasm that typifies this film though, and makes me wish I was 11 all over again.