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5.0 out of 5 stars Great action film
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...
Published on 28 Feb 2010 by Peter Wade

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film - but the DVD structure is terrible.
THE FILM: The film's main strongpoint is its action. The storyline isn't too dissimilar to the Wesley Snipes film "Passenger 57" but still brings new ideas to the table. Playing the President of the United States is Harrison Ford,a better choice compared to ID4's Bill Pullman, who not only looks the part, but has skills in both drama (Regarding Henry) and...
Published on 21 July 2000


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4.0 out of 5 stars "Get Off My Plane!", 7 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Air Force One [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great action film, 28 Feb 2010
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
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.

Great film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast and Flowing thriller with brilliance from Oldman, 7 Oct 2008
By 
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
President James Marshall (Ford) is in danger when a group of Russian terrorists take control of Air Force One.

Wolfgang Peterson (In the line of fire) delivers a fast and tense action thriller in which Harrison Ford (Star Wars) gives a good performance as President Marshall alongside a terrific act by Gary Oldman (Dracula) as the lead terrorist Ivan Korshunov.

Ford and Oldman give good performances but the star of the show is Peterson whose action style of direction maintains the tension and delivers excitement and claustrophobia on all the right levels, as does the writing by Andrew Marlowe.

The film gets off to the right start with a group of agents parachuting into General Radek's mansion and kidnapping him, laying down the tone for the plot to take full swing and after an inspirational speech by the President, the real action and intensity begin.

Though perhaps predictable as to what will happen on the plane, there is still an intensity so high and exciting that you can't tear your eyes away as the stakes rise and the drama reaches boiling point.

The narrative flows consistently and creates its own realism and conforms well to the action thriller genre. What is impressive is that the action and intensity never let up and the stakes just keep getting higher and higher until the ultimate climax, and even then it keeps going. Thankfully hardly any clichés get in the way to spoil it.

Peterson's direction helps bring the action to life, but also the characters, and none more so than Oldman's Korshunov, who is a true joy to watch. Like Alan Rickman in Die Hard, Oldman masters the foreign accent and creates that essence of control and evil, matched well by Ford who delivers another exciting action character.

Without these characters, the plot would not have been as exciting or intriguing, and is a credit to Ford and Oldman. Glenn Close (Dangerous Liaisons) also delivers a good character as the Vice President.

If you find the thriller genre hard to digest in terms of realism, you can take comfort in the acting and the characters but ultimately, this is a top notch exciting thriller.

9/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Die Hard on a plane!, 9 July 2004
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
There's no denying Harrison Ford's ability to open a movie. Since STAR WARS, he has a whole legion of fans willing to pay good movie to see him on the big screen, regardless of whether or not the flick is good. He's certainly not the greatest actor on the block, but he has one of the best track records for picking entertaining material in the modern film world. AIR FORCE ONE is no exception. It's not at all realistic, struggling at times to retain any sense of believability, has plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon and an ending that you have to see to believe. And yet, it was still able to create enough suspense to keep me gripping the edge of my seat. All due to the acting of both Ford and the always interesting Gary Oldman.
The initial take-over of the plane is frightening and intense. Every flier's worst nightmare. Smoke, gunfire, blood and death are not things you want to see at 30,000 feet. The film then retreats into "Die Hard in the Sky" during the middle section when Ford takes out the bad guys one by one from the storage space below the passenger cabins. "Who's down there? Did the President really leave in the escape pod or could he still be on the plane?" The suspense was just gripping. Not. I would also like to get my hands on the cell phone he had. I wasn't aware they made any that could place a call halfway round the world and with such clear reception. Of course, maybe they're only available to world leaders. There are many inconsistencies at this point in the film, that had me going, "Huh?", but once Ford meets Oldman all judgments get pushed aside.
It's great to see one of cinema's consistently crazy actors going mano-e-mano with one of Hollywood's greatest crusaders. Their scenes together are fabulous with neither man giving an inch to the other. No one does righteous and pissed better than Ford. He's such an honest presence you'll wish he really was running the country. Oldman is the ultimate intelligent, psychotic. A dormant volcano about to blow. A chain saw would be required to cut the tension between them. The plot takes a little too long to get to this point, but their struggle for supremacy is worth the wait. Their are too many other characters to enable them to really shine. Though Glenn Close, as the Vice Pres, and Wendy Crewson, as the First Lady, make the most of their characters and screen time. Close shows women in power can show compassion without sacrificing their strength.
My biggest complaint about the film was it's length...one of my biggest pet peeve's. An action movie should not be more then 2 hours long. Period. Exclamation point. Action movies are not about character development, they're about tempo, explosions and the good guy whipping the bad guy's ass. Yes, we need compelling reasons to love the hero and hate the villain, but AIR FORCE should have spent more time with them than on all the supporting players. It also has a lot of extra footage - the secretary and other hostages parachuting away from the plane, the release of the political leader - that takes away from the one reason audiences went to the theater: Ford beating up Oldman. For a film that mostly takes place on an airplane, Peterson does a good job keeping the suspense up and the action interesting. The stunts are great, except many of them seem to be included merely because they look cool and not for plot value. While not the best Ford or Oldman flick to choose from, their onscreen pairing actually makes it more of a must-see than it might have been otherwise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Die Hard on a plane!, 9 July 2004
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
There's no denying Harrison Ford's ability to open a movie. Since STAR WARS, he has a whole legion of fans willing to pay good movie to see him on the big screen, regardless of whether or not the flick is good. He's certainly not the greatest actor on the block, but he has one of the best track records for picking entertaining material in the modern film world. AIR FORCE ONE is no exception. It's not at all realistic, struggling at times to retain any sense of believability, has plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon and an ending that you have to see to believe. And yet, it was still able to create enough suspense to keep me gripping the edge of my seat. All due to the acting of both Ford and the always interesting Gary Oldman.
The initial take-over of the plane is frightening and intense. Every flier's worst nightmare. Smoke, gunfire, blood and death are not things you want to see at 30,000 feet. The film then retreats into "Die Hard in the Sky" during the middle section when Ford takes out the bad guys one by one from the storage space below the passenger cabins. "Who's down there? Did the President really leave in the escape pod or could he still be on the plane?" The suspense was just gripping. Not. I would also like to get my hands on the cell phone he had. I wasn't aware they made any that could place a call halfway round the world and with such clear reception. Of course, maybe they're only available to world leaders. There are many inconsistencies at this point in the film, that had me going, "Huh?", but once Ford meets Oldman all judgments get pushed aside.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Force To Be Reckoned With!!, 9 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film - but the DVD structure is terrible., 21 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
THE FILM: The film's main strongpoint is its action. The storyline isn't too dissimilar to the Wesley Snipes film "Passenger 57" but still brings new ideas to the table. Playing the President of the United States is Harrison Ford,a better choice compared to ID4's Bill Pullman, who not only looks the part, but has skills in both drama (Regarding Henry) and action (Indiana Jones) to play such a role effectively. Highly entertaining, action packed with a gripping story.
THE DVD: Whoever had the idea to split the film in two and place each half on separate sides of a double-sided DVD (without any special features) is an idiot. The film would easily have fit on one side of a DVD (Lethal Weapon 4 did and that's of the same running time) and some special features wouldn't have gone amiss - even if it was little more than cast/crew profiles. Obviously, can't fault the picture and sound quality.
On the whole - it's a great film, but the near-cinema experience is tarnished by the fact that you have to turn the DVD over half-way through. I thought they eliminated that when they phased out vinyl?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Air Force One DVD, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
One of my favourite films of all time. it is nice to have a DVD of it so can watch any time. Harrison Ford never disappoints and this film will appeal to anyone who likes a good story. Excellent service from the supplier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Air Force One [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
One of Harrison Fords best it will keep you on the edge of your seat,the best line for me was ( Get off my plane)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GET OFF MY PLANE!!!!, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Air Force One [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
What's not to love here? Harrison ford as the president of the united states? I'd vote for him. And Gary oldman is perfect.
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Air Force One [DVD] [1997]
Air Force One [DVD] [1997] by Wolfgang Petersen (DVD - 2001)
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