Air Force One is a run-of-the-mill action movie starring Harrison Ford as the President of the United States cheerfully making his way home from a rousing anti-terrorist speech in Mother Russia, only to find that terrorists disguised as a Russian news crew have somehow taken over the most secure aircraft on earth. Naturally, the President takes it upon himself to rebel and become the hero of the hour.
Originally released in 1997, this movie feels like it should have been released in the 80s. Its plot circles around terrorists hijacking Air Force One in return for the release of evil dictator in Kazakhstan - probably more in reference to the Bosnian & Kosovo Conflicts of the time - but truthfully, it's not difficult to see what's going on here; this is really just a throwback to the Cold War and it's the good old US of A vs. those evil Russian communists. Indeed this movie must have brought a tear to the eye of Reagan and Gorbachev, who worked so hard to end decades of the Cold War years earlier, only for those pesky Hollywood writers to keep dragging it back up for our entertainment in the Western World. (Jesus they'd even managed to ween James Bond off the Russians at that stage!)
Anyhoo, this is essentially Die Hard on Air Force One which in itself is a fun but ridiculous premise with a screenplay littered with unintentional comedic values. Ford ably plays a former veteran turned President, who spends a lot of the movie armed & dangerous, running around the bowels of the plane, picking off terrorists & rescuing passengers (somehow it's hard to picture the likes of George W Bush doing that), Gary Oldman plays the terrorist kingpin with supreme aplomb (as he does in any bad guy role he plays) but Glenn Close is a letdown as the Vice President, completely overacting in the role - 'He's not asking. Your Commander-in-Chief has issued a direct order. DO IT!!!!' (cue 'DUN DUN DUN' music) and another unintended laugh from us.
Try as it might, the script just doesn't maintain the suspense; visually, it's not helped by horrendously substandard CGI - (there have been explosions, & crashes from movies in the 70s that look more realistic than what you'll see here) and all to the background sound of a cheesy oversold musical score. Unfortunately, it's a movie that just doesn't stand the passage of time, pre-9/11 it's hard to take this seriously, post 9/11 it's impossible.
Rather than spending hard earned money on this, you're better off waiting for it to appear on some digital TV channel some night when you come home, tired & pissed off after a bad day at work, its only effect being to brainlessly entertain you before you hit the hay for the night, barely remembering you bothered to watch it the next day.