Air Force One is hijacked by Russian terrorists, and the President
takes it upon himself to rescue the hostages onboard and save his family.
Air Force One (1997)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Written by Andrew W. Marlowe
Starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close,
Wendy Crewson, William H. Macy, Xander Berkeley,
Liesel Matthews, Dean Stockwell, Elya Baskin, Jürgen Prochnow
Oscar Nominations - Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing
Air Force One continues the trend of action thrillers that are essentially just Die Hard in different scenarios. Hell, Olympus Has Fallen just melds this film with Die Hard without even trying to hide it. It's a particular subgenre that is very entertaining in my opinion. Air Force One is one of the best, thanks mostly to the outstanding performances from Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. What would happen if the President of the United States were hijacked by terrorists, along with most of his staff and his family? How would the American government react? In the real world, they'd most likely fuck it up. In movie world, we get an exciting action thriller that never stops.
Ford is President James Marshall, an honorable man, a veteran, and a believer in moral duty. After his administration succeeds in capturing a dangerous general intent on taking over Russia, he travels back to America on Air Force One, along with his family. But, the plane gets hijacked by a group of terrorists loyal to that general, led by Ivan Korshunov (Oldman). Ivan demands the release of General Radek (Prochnow), but VP Bennett (Close) struggles to get his demands met. However, the President wasn't captured and faked his escape, so he starts hunting down the terrorists personally so he can secure his family and staff. Films like these make me wish we had real leadership, someone that we could stand behind in a crisis. The action is intense from beginning to end.
Air Force One is a highly entertaining film and one of the best of the Die Hard rip-off subgenre that just keeps on giving. Harrison Ford is believable as the leader of the free world, and Oldman is perfectly cast as a psychotic communist monster. The 90's may be the best decade for action films, and Air Force One is definitely one of the most exciting and enjoyable.