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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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In this 1996 action thriller [aka: Critical Decision] David Grant [Kurt Russell] believes a recent airliner hijacking is being used to detonate a bomb loaded with the nerve gas over U.S. airspace. Working with Lt. Col. Travis [Steven Seagal] the pair and a special force team must intercept the plane.
The single disc offers, play, jump to a scene, languages [English only, but also Arabic or English subtitles] and from the opening of this big budget movie, it is fast paced throughout with plenty of exotic locations at the start but soon settles down to more claustrophobic settings. Despite some glaring errors and the usual inept security detail, this is a good adventure with plenty of tense moments with generally good acting and a host of well known stars, even though it often demands you suspend belief. There is some low key swearing and ‘adventure’ style violence but this always manages to maintain the suspense and if it’s an adventure you want, this is a good ***** that is still relevant today.
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on 8 June 2012
Kurt Russell, Steven Segal, Halle Berry, John Leguizamo and others in a heroic ensemble are on board for first class thrills. The mission: board a hijacked 747 in mid-air. Avoid detection. Locate and disable a hair-triggered nerve-toxin bomb that could wipe out the U.S. Eastern Seabord. Execute a split-second attack that overwhelms the terrorists and safeguards the passengers. Do it all without air-to-ground radio. And do it before an increasingly jittery U.S. military blasts the airliner out of the sky. "I hope there's a good movie on this flight", an anti-terrorist operative quips. As it turns out, there's a great one: Executive Decision.
The suspense in the film is brilliantly sustained, The plot is pure escapism, but very clever. But in the world of today the theme of the film is more relevant now than 15 years ago when the film was in the cinemas . This is no dumb action movie and Kurt Russell shows that he is a briliant leading man, in a situation way out of his depth he starts off with no experience or confidence but ends up as the mastermind to the attack, Steven Segal also has a role as a man in uniform that doesn't think Russel is up for the task. the casting of David Suchetn from detective Poirot to
such an effective and eerie contrast to make him the chief villain. He proved extremely convincing as charming, intelligent and brutally determined terrorist.
Directed by Stuart Baird (SALT) made an entertaining top action-thriller that has some suspense and exciting action sequences. but one of the reasons why "Executive Decision" remain memorable for over the years is Seagal's supporting role. Especially when the Seagal's character meets his unfortunately fate. The premise is surprisingly believable as well.

Executive Decision is a great ride that is so much fun
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 November 2015
I always liked this 1996 action film and I was glad to see recently that it didn't age - at all. It doesn't have any other pretensions than to entertain us but it accomplishes this mission very well indeed. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

An Oceanic Airlines (this is a fictional name) Flight 343, a Boeing 747-200, bound for Washington, D.C, with on board a U.S. Senator, Mavros (J.T. Walsh) and a smoking hot air attendant named Jean (Halle Berry) , is hijacked by islamic terrorists commanded by Nagi Hassan (David Suchet, amazing). Their official purpose is to obtain the liberation of El Sayeed Jaffa (Andreas Katsulas), recently captured leader of their organisation. However some in US intelligence community believe that Hassan has a completely different plan and wants something infinitely more lethal - it is certainly the case of the main expert on Jaffa-Hassan organization, dr Grant (Kurt Russell). On his advice a team of US Special Forces commanded by Colonel Travis (Steven Seagal) will be dispatched to deal with the situation - they will use a top-secret weapon for that... And then the film really begins.

This is a really, really good action thriller - and there is not so many of them. The scenario, although containing some rather impossible things, is not half bad - in fact this film, made in 1996, anticipated (in a way) some real terrorist attacks in the future...

The main villain is ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING, in a calm, calculating, brilliant, eloquent, charmingly satanic way. In this film David Suchet proved once again that he is an amazing actor, who can play anything and everything - if he was asked to play a broccoli, I am certain other broccolis would welcome him as a long lost cousin...

There is not so much action actually - don't expect dead bodies piling in the middle of ocean of blood and a cornucopia of shells - but there is definitely suspense. TONS OF IT! The suspense is well managed with the use of twists, most of them unexpected. That actually is not something easily done nowadays, considering the humungous number of action movies on the market - but in this film prepare to be surprised. A darn lot!

Another good thing is that secondary characters received a lot of screen time and are actually very, very important to the plot. Four commandos who follow Colonel Travis have a lot to say and a lot to do in this film: Master Sergeant Carlos "Rat" Lopez (John Leguizamo), Sergeant First Class Campbell "Cappy" Matheny (Joe Morton), Sergeant First Class Louie Jung (B.D. Wong - surprisingly effective in an atypical role!) and Sergeant First Class Michael Baker (Whip Hubley). Another important character is Cahill (Oliver Platt), the engineer who designed the secret weapon commandos will use - this is one of this actor's finest hours.

I appreciated also a lot that this time the president of USA is not involved - in his absence, the Secretary of State manages the crisis. Points for originality to "Executive Decision".

Now this film has of course some quite amusing weaker points, like the fact that all the time everybody insists that USA don't negotiate with terrorists - when in the same time doing exactly that...))) Possibly the funniest thing is when one of peaople who manage the crisis, tells to a high ranking officer: "You are an expert on attacking hijacked planes - you wrote a book on it"...))) I almost died laughing at that moment - because come on, what active service officer would be allowed to publish a book in which he gives away his trade secrets and instructs terrorists what mistakes they must not commit... There are other points which could be criticised, but I don't want to give away too much.

That being said, because of all the good points which I mentioned above, "Executive decision" is much better than most of action films on the market - and for that reason I simply have to rate it five stars. It is a recommended viewing, still very entertaining even on the second viewing. I will totally keep the DVD. ENJOY!
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on 10 November 2013
Terrorists take over a plane bound from Athens to Washington, 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 planned, using a plane designed for mid-air crew transfers, and Grant finds himself aboard the plane with a team of soldiers who have to defuse a bomb and overpower the terrorists....

Everyone knows this film because it's the one where Seagal dies halfway through, and this would have more brilliant if they hadn't shown this pivotal scene in the trailer.

But beyond that, it's a really good movie, and all the cast are great. Yes it's basically Die Hard, but there is so much urgency going on, it's forgivable that it's following such a simple format.

Suchet is wonderful as the villain, very calm, but very deadly at the same time, and the film is full of humour, which comes as a relief in some of the more tense scenes.

If you are a fan of Joel Silver, it's one of his better films from the nineties, and is pretty old school, in it's delivery of lines and tropes.

Plus it's the best film ever made where it looks like two people are going to high five, and then the film cuts to a different scene...
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on 6 May 2014
What's not to like - Kurt Russell as the reluctant government intelligence analyst, David Suchet as the bad guy and Halle Berry. Throw in an audacious mid-air rescue plan, Steven Segal in a brief role and some great action set pieces and you're in for a rollercoaster thrill ride and all in the claustrophobic confines of a Boeing 747.
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on 23 September 2013
Very good action-thriller with two action stars for the price of one. The plot builds nicely and nothing that happens is too forced because the filmmakers are confident that the audience will hang on until the final explosive half hour, despite the large amount of talky scenes the film contains. The perfect blend of characterisation, plot and acting.
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on 24 May 2016
A bit of a shocking start (if you've seen this you'll know what I mean), and a good movie follows. Action, tension and good script. The storyline is fairly static but necessarily so and not claustrophobic. Russell and Berry work well together.
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on 12 April 2015
This is one of those 90's action thrillers set on a plane like Air Force One,Passenger 57 and Turbulence and like them its a terrific thrill ride with one of the most talked about death scenes in movie history.

It stars Kurt Russell as defence analyst David Grant who teams up with a team of special operatives led by Austin Travis(action star Steven Seagal)to stop a bunch of terrorists who have taken over a plane that contains a chemical bomb and who are heading for Washington DC.
After a mid air disaster its up to Grant along with the help of flight attendant Jean(beauty Halle Berry),engineer Dennis Cahill(Oliver Platt)and sergeants Rat(John Leguizamo)and Cappy(Joe Morton)to find the bomb and stop the terrorists before its too late.

I really enjoyed this action film with a top cast headlined by superb Kurt Russell and even though its a bit far fetched and not as good as Air Force One or Passenger 57 this is a gripping experience.This movie is also very well known for only the second time in his career that the character Steven Seagal has played has died on screen and i have to say its the most memorable scene in the whole film.

The acting is particularly good for this type of movie with the always excellent Russell on top form as a man way out of his depth like his character from another top thriller Breakdown and unlike most leading action roles he is a quite normal guy put into a hectic situation and you can put yourself in his shoes unlike characters like Riddick or The Terminator as this could happen in real life unlike those characters in those movies.Now we get to Steven Seagal who may only be in this less than half an hour but is terrific and even though not known for his acting Seagal gives his all and possibly gives his best performance,you have to give him credit to star in this knowing he would be killed off in spectacular style and he does his standout moment well.Other top actors like Halle Berry in a small role as well as Leguizamo,Morton and BD Wong as Seagal's team members all prove their worth as well as underrated actor Platt and our own David Suchet(Poirot)is fantastic as the main terrorist on the plane.

The action set pieces are gripping and has some top special effects.I love the opening sequence where Seagal and his team try to take down a mafia safe house in Italy and the makers must of done this on purpose to give Seagal a great few scenes before his demise.Most of the action scenes after this take place in the plane apart from the outstanding scene with Seagal's Travis who goes out in quite incredible style and its still one of his most famous scenes in his career.Other top moments include a nerve wracking scene as Platt's Cahill and others try to defuse the bomb as well as Grant and Jean trying to find a suspect in the passenger cabin which afterwards leads to a gripping sequence where the windows are blown apart leading to people flying out.The finale is again gripping with Russell trying his best to get the plane to safety.

This is a excellent action film with a star turn from Kurt Russell as well as a great early turn from Halle Berry and a evil turn by David Suchet.This can be a bit long at times and can be a bit confusing but i really enjoyed it with a standout moment from superstar Seagal who may get killed off but this scene will always be remembered,its not a classic but its highly watchable and exiting.
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on 23 February 2013
good film worth the four stars..still shocked to see seagal pop it so early. Good story and great action Kurt Russel on top form and Halle berry looks great
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on 16 January 2015
A really good politico-cum-terrorist-cum-military movie with lots of suspense (in mid-air) and action too. Good portrayal of what could easily happen (has it already happened?) in the modern 21st century era of fanatical terrorism. I like the 'magic wand' scene when the bomb is undergoing deactivation. I would have given it 5 stars if Kurt Russell had landed the jumbo jet without messing up all the other planes on the airport!!
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