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56
4.3 out of 5 stars
Firefox [1982] [DVD]
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2003
Firefox has always been one of my favourite films, and while it's a bit cheesy and jingoistic 20 years on, it is entertaining - especially seeing fine British actors like Nigel Hawthorne (rest his soul!) and Kenneth Colley making a pig's ear of their Russian accents...
However, in this DVD version they've edited out a lot of the best bits - including a lot of the interplay between the politicians and General Vladimirov at Bilyarsk when they are trying to plot the retrieval and destruction of the MiG-31.
I was really disappointed by this, and haven't watched the film again since - though it's comforting to know it's on the shelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2002
After recently buying the VHS version of the movie, I knew I was buying a good movie, but I had forgotten how brilliant it was.
Although it is predictable to a certain degree, the way the plot and action unfolds keeps you thoroughly entertained. Clint Eastwood does well in a role that is out of character for him - someone who has to follow orders to the T. The only downside to the movie is the dated special effects. But the music which is used when we first see the 'Firefox' makes up for it by giving the plane a menacing character.
A final word to Warner Bros - judging by the quality - or lack of it - released on DVD from the same period, I cannot see why you guys have not launched a DVD. We are missing it out here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm not sure whether Firefox is really a guilty pleasure or simply a film I remember as being one. It's certainly overlong and overfamiliar despite its neat Maguffin - Clint Eastwood's flashback-plagued Vietnam vet fighter ace has to steal a state-of-the-art warplane with a thought-controlled weapons system (as long as you remember to think in Russian) from the heart of the Evil Empire - but it has a sort of undemanding Cold War charm that the constant stream of clichés only reinforces. Even the old school model effects in the final chase-and-dogfight section are more fun in their way than modern CGI effects, especially when the Firefox is leaving a wall of water in its wake as it races across the sea or causing fallen snow to fill the air as it passes over the mountains, so it's a shame that much of the last third is played in darkened control rooms rather than the skies.

The Russians, naturally, are mostly played by British actors, albeit in this case actors best known for their sitcoms, which adds a different dimension to their scenes as comically humourless KGB types or lemming-like dissidents only too happy to die for the cause, or incorrigible hams like Freddie Jones who simply look like they SHOULD be in a sitcom. There's even an almost admirable perversity into giving most of the explanatory dialogue in the last half-hour to Klaus Löwitsch, an actor with a shaky grasp of spoken English who sounds like a bumblebee caught in a vacuum cleaner pipe. Not good by any means, but strangely watchable, and Maurice Jarre contributes an enjoyable score from the days before he disappeared entirely into atonal electronics.

Whereas the Region 1 NTSC DVD is the uncut theatrical version before Clint re-edited and trimmed the film by some 12 minutes without visibly improving it for video release, sadly the European PAL DVD is the shorter cut version. Boasting a decent 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, both versions also includes a 29-minute British behind the scenes documentary and the theatrical trailer.

Sadly the Blu-ray release mirrors the DVD release - the US version (available in a double-bill with Heartbreak Ridge - Heartbreak Ridge & Firefox [Blu-ray] [US Import]) is the uncut theatricl version but once again the rest of the world gets the cut version that Clint re-edited and trimmed the film by some 12 minutes without visibly improving it for video release, though both have the same extras (29-minute British behind the scenes documentary and the theatrical trailer). Eastwood the director has always had a penchant for pushing up the darkness in the cinematography, which was a problem even when seen on a 70ft screen in a darkened room but is something of a nightmare on home video. While not as bad as The Rookie, parts of which are almost invisible in the sea of black ink onscreen, the night scenes are a problem even on Blu-ray, with detail lost in the dark and the transfer not really able to do much to compensate. It's certainly an improvement on the DVD but it's still a hugely inconsisten transfer that's definitely at its best in the daylight scenes.
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This films looks like it could be an early 80s James Bond movie for Roger Moore. It’s full of the classic espionage-thriller moments for the first 90 minutes; sneak into Russia in disguise avoiding the burly KGB agents on your trail. Rendezvous and befriend your native allies. Infiltrate the enemy base. Steal the top secret fighter jet that could change the world forever in the wrong hands. Escape alive. Take away the humour and charm, replace Roger Moore with Clint Eastwood and throw in a heavy dose of special effects and sci-fi narrative and you have ‘Firefox’.

It never really manages to hit the full heights of excitement you may expect from this, but that’s not necessary a bad thing, it’s just handled in that trademark Eastwood way of steadily developing the story and character relationships and neglecting any large action set pieces until the end. Eastwood doesn’t “do” action on the whole, so this leans more to a Cold War thriller rather than futuristic actioner.

The MiG itself, the “Firefox”, looks demonic and visually great and if you can accept the fantastical properties of mind-controlled weapons and Mach 6, it plays a crucial part in the closing half-hour as Eastwood sits firmly in the cockpit surrounded by flashy computer controls and L.E.D screens as he lets special effects take over for a ‘Star Wars’ meets ‘Top Gun’ blend of ariel dog-fighting action against the Russians. The effects are tolerable for that time, obviously dated now, but it’s not exactly edge-of-your-seat stuff.

Clichéd Russian villains are littered throughout with heavy accents and growling faces as they plot and gurn their nefarious plot to take over the world, and Clint plays the man with a haunted war past who can stop them all. It’s very generic stuff, but if you’re a fan of the espionage genre this may give you something to chew over for the first few acts, it’s just the finale that never hits the spot sadly and drags on far too long.

It’s not Eastwood’s worst film, but far from his best. It’s memorable for all the wrong reasons sadly as it takes itself far too seriously to be more ground-breaking that it actually is. At least we had ‘Octopussy’ after this to remind us how a generic James Bond movie SHOULD feel like facing off against evil Russians!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2002
I enjoyed the film immensely and I can still remember the clip where the firefox takes off from the Iceland base which is hidden in the North Pole. I enjoy Clint Eastwood at the best of times and I think his style in this film was magnificent. The memory lives on and I think any cult movie lovers out there should pick up this film as soon as possible. I think it compares with Nikita in terms of the rush of excitement as the suspense builds, as the viewer you become aware of the great deal of suspense involved in the film, the plot is intricate.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I remember renting this one out from the video shop a heck of a lot in the mid 80s and always loved it. Clint Eastwood is one of those actors who is watchable in just about everything he does and here he plays a war-haunted US pilot sent to steal the Russian super-jet called the FIREFOX. I always liked the way this one started off slowly building up the tension in the airport scenes (where he has his papers checked continually and ends up slugging it out with a KGB agent in the gents) right the way through to the last 1/3 of the film where he flies the FIREFOX home evading Russian missiles, helicopters and a prototype version of the plane that pursues him over the ice-flows. The DVD is a disappointment though in that several scenes are cut out including some at the beginning that sees Eastwood's character train in flight simulators and ponder his chances of success with a fellow officer. Great movie, DVD could have been better
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 25 August 2005
Back in the days when the Ruskies were known as the USSR, they invented a supersonic attack plane MiG-31 (Firefox) with the ability to respond to thought. They had it and wee wanted it. So we decided to sneak in and take it. The only problem was that to operate it you had to have Ruskie thoughts as it could tell the difference.
Out only hope was retired pilot Mitchell Gant (Clint Eastwood) but still a tuffy. His mission is to sneak into the USSR and pilfer the plane. Little did we know there is a second plane and a tuffy Ruskie pilot, so the chase is on. To add to the tension Mitchell was a Vietnam prisoner and suffers under stress.
Will he succeed or be shot out of the sky?
The story was probably inspired but the Soviet defection to Japan in the 70's when we pulled their advanced MiG apart to fined that while we moved on to electronic controls that they were still using wire and hydraulics. How ever when we realized it was immured to Electro-magnetic-pulse we had to take a sober look.
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on 29 September 2011
It rips through the skies at six times the speed of sound, is invisible to radar and spits death - launching and guiding missiles directly through the pilot's impulses. It's the MIG-31, the most devastating war machine ever built, code name Firefox. But Firefox belongs to the Russians. To maintain the balance of world power, the West must steal it. Clint Eastwood directs and stars as ace U.S. pilot Mitchell Gant, the man for the job. Firefox delivers a unique payload of nail-biting suspense and effects pyrotechnics. Special Visual Effects Producer John Dykstra won an Oscar for Star Wars - and his work on Firefox is in that out-of-this-world class. Join Eastwood in the cockpit and soar!

Audio: English, French, Italian
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Romanian, Bulgarian, English for the hearing impaired, Italian for the hearing impaired
Special Features: Theatrical Trailer, Documentary (and "Cast & Crew", one page text of cast and crew names)
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on 18 December 2007
As Mitchell Gant, Clint helps the US smuggle a super-secret Russian fighter craft out of its hangar deep in the heart of Russia and fly it over to our side. Of course, it's not as easy as it sounds, what with Gant having recurring flashbacks to a harrowing experience in Vietnam (PLOT POINT - why did they have an obviously traumatized vet like Clint head up a sensitive assignment like this? Oh well....).

In fact, there are two stars to this one. Clint, of course, and that sleek, black dream machine of a MIG that he commandeers. The scene where the camera and Clint circle the plane is almost like a car commercial (all that's missing is Ricardo Montalban talking about its 'rich Corinthian leather' interior).

Other than the loving detail between the two leads, however, everyone else is either an empty-headed caricature or an overplayed buffoon. Either way, it's just filling time until Clint and his ride meet the next harrowing obstacle they must overcome. And there's quite a few.
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on 3 January 2001
Its the cold war and the Russians have developed a plane that cannot be detected by radar and a weapons system operated by the pilots thoughts. So NATO wants to steal it. Enter Clint Eastwood as Mitchell Gant a Vietnam Vet who is the only man for the job as he can speak Russian. Firefox is a flawed film but it still has its moments amongst the dodgy accents, poor sets and bad special effects. But what just about holds the film together is the plot taken from the book of the same name by Craig Thomas, that is if you can manage to keep awake through some of the drawn out scenes. The climax of the film is the best part as Clint tries to steal the top secret Mig jet from right under the noses of the Russians.
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