on 9 October 2001
This film may suffer from a slightly unbelievable story line but when you have Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman and Glenn Close delivering performances as strong as these, you're going to get your moneys worth.
The picture quality is very good with a nice anamorphic transfer and very few marks on the print.
The sound is Dolby 5.1 as are most DVD's released these days, but with this film containing great action scenes and explosions, the sound quality really stands out.
The extras include a 6-minute featurette, which is more of an extended trailer, a fantastic Director's Commentary which is different to other Commentaries because the director is being asked questions by an interviewer while they watch it. You get the trailer for this film as well as 'Pearl Harbour' and last of all you get a bizarre subtitles extra, this is basically watching the film with subtitles but instead of them being normal subtitles, they are actually bits of information regarding the movie, this is a weird but wonderful extra, and is well worth watching as there's loads of interesting stuff.
on 21 January 2014
This movie rocks with my favorite , political plane and Harrison Ford departing from his Han Solo and Indiana Jones style action of previous times to a more cautious , ponderous dude as commander in chief who is not a fake liberal and hater of America !!! The action and special effects has a special feel to it before all this CGI carbage of today , and its like a thinking mans die hard on an airliner !!!!Makes me miss the 90s even badder .
Only a few select actors can have the honour, in cinema audience’s eyes, of playing the US President with great acclaim. Jamie Foxx and Aaron Eckhart have tried recently and faded into obscurity. Leslie Nielsen even had a go for the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise, but didn’t cut the mustard. Harrison Ford, however, just seems perfect for the part and remains a firm favourite. The everyday family man, politician and former war hero rolled into one make his performance brilliant and a real joy to watch in this taught thriller.
Going up against the electric Gary Oldman who turns from calm freedom fighter to psychotic murder in a heartbeat, Ford spends a good portion of the film almost a nervous, worried wreck of a man. His hands tremble as he comes to terms with the deadly hijacking as he races to find the materials he needs to save those on-board, and his face frowns and grimaces at each gunshot and bone-crunching punch landed. He’s not a willing action hero, he’s a normal man that only Ford can convincingly portray with such power, but he has an imposing and dramatic presence as his bravery increases and his drive never falters; one of the last few “American everyday heroes” of the 1990s.
The strong supporting cast are all very convincing in their roles, from Glenn Close as a strong-willed but desperate Vice President with the dilemma of taking one life to save thousands over her head, and Xander Berkeley as the deceptive and wonderfully cold Agent Gibbs. Oldman however leads the way in another exciting and wild villainous role that allows him to show his dramatic flair and passion when he reveals his intentions and motives behind the hijacking. We are also treated to his talent for action going up against Ford in a few shoot-outs and melee fights which his later films now shy away from, so it’s great seeing what made, and what continues to make, Oldman an untamed but wonderfully talented British gem.
Director Wolfgang Petersen blends his usual mix of action and thriller against a very real political background as much like he did with ‘Das Boot’. The majority of the action takes place on the Air Force One plane and it’s a brilliant set, an almost maze-like funnel of engine rooms, control panels and deceptive living quarters for the team to play cat-and-mouse in. It’s the tension of the counting-down clock for Ford to act upon that provides lots of the thrills here, as his quick thinking communication and ideas to disrupt and distract the terrorist and the plan itself lend to some great action sequences and visual effects, such as the German airfield disaster aversion and the mid-air refuelling crash. All wonderfully epic before CGI dominated films; the few major visual effects here were the payoff for joining this thriller from the start and they are all very memorable even today. The very patriotic soundtrack also accompanies the film very well, but at times overdoing that heroic flourish of brass and strings whenever Harrison Ford appears on screen or does something heroic. But some of the visual effects are a little ropey still, which can only be connected to the time before CGI really took off with ‘The Phantom Menace’ in 1999. So for 1997, it does a good job for what it needs to do in telling a dangerous story and touched up with the dramatic flair we all need from a tongue-in-cheek action film such as this.
Lots of political talk and some over-long cat-and-mouse sequences may prove a little much for those who basically know what is going on and just want to progress without the continuous threat of detection by the terrorists, and it could be trimmed down a little to make it a more smooth ride in the middle act. However that is nothing major to spoil the enjoyment of a stellar cast in a very memorable actioner that takes an original idea, combining it with a unique setting, a strong cast and some exciting action and stunt-work.
on 25 June 2015
Very Good film as you would expect with Harrison Ford in it. Ford plays the president of the United States who has a military Background during the Vietnam war, in a nutshell terrorists in disguise as reporters with the help for a rouge secret service agent hijacked AF one. With a number of different twists and turns Harrison Ford takes control (without giving too much away).
The picture and sound quality are amazing in the Blu Ray version a must have for any action fan. :)
on 12 September 2007
I have read some of the reviews that criticise this film for its jingoistic and simplistic world view but that is really to miss the point. This is an Action Adventure movie ,in the mould of the Die Hard movies and,on that level, this is a superb film.Yes the Americans are the good guys and the Russians are the bad guys but the scene where a fighter pilot sacrifices himself to save the President is brilliant and I think probably does reflect America`s attitude to the office of President. The President is America.
And isn`t it fun, just for once, in these cynical times, to enjoy a little of the American pride in their country.
If nothing else enjoy the stirring music provided by Jerry Goldsmith!
on 14 November 2013
The President goes to Moscow and gives a speech outlining the USA's new "Zero- tolerance" policy with respect to terrorism.
On the flight home, terrorists take over Air Force One, and take the passengers, including his wife and daughter, hostage.
The terrorists plan to execute one hostage every half-hour until their demands are met.
However, the President is Harrison Ford, a former Medal of Honour winner.....
How can anyone hate this movie, if you suspend your disbelief for two hours and try to ignore the blatant patriotism? Its Die Hard on a plane (again), but with Harrison Ford as The President of The USA. The pitch must have been amazing.
Its a no brainier. I cannot think of anyone better for the role, and the casting of Oldman is genius, because at the time, thanks to Leon, The Fifth Element, and True Romance, he was the go to guy for playing the villain, plus he's British, and we all know that Brits are the best Bad Guys (according to Hollywood).
Yes it's a silly film, and the script is cringeworthy (get off my plane is worthy of Schwarzennegar), but the action is solid, Ford will never be better, and Oldman is brilliant, even thought there is one line he spouts in a cockney accent.
And for a two hour movie, it goes at a hectic pace, even when we go through the old round the table stuff with the VP and Dean Stockwell looking serious, like you do in all these types of movies.
Turn off your brains for a couple of hours, and you will be in for a treat...
on 2 May 2009
This is a review for the Blu-Ray. It was viewed on a US Panasonic Plasma (42"), and BD35 player. The PQ is a 3.5/5, and AQ 5/5. The colors and blacks are rich, but there is significant grain in the picture. I am a e fan of this film, and have seen it on VHS and DVD. This is a marked improvement over those 2 formats,and worth a look for fans of this film.
As one reviewer remarked, the film surely is a tad unrealistic. But as far as I can tell, so are most Hollywood blockbusters, which serve up escapism, and embellished storylines. For a "realistic" film, perhaps it's best to investigate films based on "true" stories and biographies.
Though I am a citizen of the United States, there is no need to have a flag erected in my front yard, as this reviewer claims, to be excited about the film. At its core, the film is simply about the choice to stand one's ground on principle. It's action packed, emotional, and contains all of the elements of an "edge of your seat" action film. It's refreshing to see characters, regardless from what country they are to hail, on screen, that do not compromise their principles.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and recommend it for any fan of the film, or genre. The score, and performances are on point. Though I am not a huge Harrison Ford Fan, his performance here is, in my opinion, the best I've seen. Glen Close plays an incredibly strong and convincing part, and the rest of the cast is fantastic as well. Though the Blu-Ray requires some improvement, it's the cleanest picture you'll see. Definitely worth a look!
on 8 September 2014
One of Harrison Ford's best roles and a lesson in excellence from the start.
This film begins in style with one of the legendary and late Jerry Goldsmith scores and, thankfully, a fitting tribute to the legendary composer.
Then we have a superb supporting cast that includes so many of the US's major character actors and, of course, a villainous star turn by the reliable Gary Oldman.
Excellent and believable effects make for an effective and exciting film. No matter how many times you watch it.
Brilliant AND wholly recommended
on 24 April 2016
Harrison Ford plays former US President turned airline steward Richard Wamkler in this tense action thriller.
While on board a flight from New York to Ireland, Wamkler thinks he has spotted fifty terrorists sitting in first class who should be seated in economy. What follows is a seriously long and dragged out process where Wamkler must check all their tickets and attempt to resolve the issue with as minimum disruption as possible. Things do not go as planned though when one terrorist kicks off about not having received his in-flight meal.
Ford is wonderful in the role and looks a treat in his orange steward outfit, however he does uncomfortable in the love scenes. I found the scenes where he romances all seven air hostesses a little awkward. It did not help that six of the air hostesses were all played by the same actress (Whoopi Goldberg.)
The special effects are acceptable, I particularly liked the waxwork of Ford that was used for most of his action scenes, though this became less convincing when the skin started to melt halfway through the movie.
Gary Oldman makes a blink and you'll miss it appearance as an airport groundsman. He has no dialogue but can be seen from a distance raising his left arm and gesturing to a landing plane to pull into a docking bay.
If you like action films then this should do the trick and if you like musicals you may also like this because there is a great moment when Ford leads all the passengers in a sing-a-along rendition of Dolly Parton's '9 To Life.'
Great action film
I had heard that this film was a preposterously patriotic film for Americans.
In all action films you have to suspend belief so nit picking about whether any of these things could happen is a waste of time. It is just a story.
Once the plane is hi jacked the action is relentless and Harrison Ford is very good as the action hero and Gary Oldman is excellent as the ominous hijacker. He makes a great baddy. there is a tradition in American films to have English actors as the villains and Gary Oldman does this very well even though he is playing a Russian or was it someone from Kazakhstan?
You know that the goodies have to win it is just a question of time and how they are going to do it.
It is also really a cowboy film as it is one man against all the forces of evil and he succeeds just by his sheer ingenuity.
There is nothing that this man does not know.
The realistic parts of the film were when he phoned the White House he was not immediately believed to be the President and he was jerked around by the operator. It was good to see and hear the the president of the United states gets messed around by telephone operators.
Also he sends a fax and no one seems to read it for quite awhile again a true scenario as I send a lot of faxes that never get read or received and I make a lot of phone calls that don't get acknowledged.
In that respects it was a very realistic film.
How many stories would be resolved quicker if someones who swears by modern forms of communication actually answer their phones and read their faxes.
I will quote it to people who complain that I don't carry a mobile phone or send texts or communicate by email on a regular basis.
All in all a very exciting film even though some of the actions and feats were fairly inconceivable. That is what aciton films are all about.
They will be telling me next Clint Eastwood can't really kill five baddies with five shots after a quick draw.