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Buena Vista's Air Force One-Die Hard on a Plane

The most important man, the surest airplane, the most dangerous hijackers...

Air Force One is a 1997 political action film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, written by Andrew W. Marlowe, produced by Beacon Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Tombstone Pictures, and Radiant, and distributed by Buena Vista International. The film stars Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. It was nominated for Best Sound and Best Film Editing, but did not win either.

"Get off my plane!"-President Jim Marshall


After President Jim Marshall vows to not give in to terrorism, Air Force One is hijacked by Russian terrorists. They take all the passengers hostage except for Marshall. Alone and scared, ex-Marine Marshall must use his knowledge and strength to defeat the terrorists while Congress holds the terrorists off.

Positive Aspects

The first thing about this is the plot. While this plot line is very familiar, I think it still works, especially with the president of the United States. I thought that the idea of Die Hard on a plane with the president is a good idea. It's a good exploration of the plot that Roderick Thorp created.

The acting is good. Obviously Harrison Ford in the lead is great. He is the quintessential action star and does as good a job as ever in this film. I also found out that Gary Oldman has a surprisingly good Russian accent. Even as a smaller guy, he is very intimidating and scary. He plays the Hans Gruber of the film and does a very good job. Glenn Close is great. She reacts perfectly to the events going on around her, and tries to help out Jim to the best of her abilities, but cannot.

This film has a sense of unease and inherit spookiness. When the plane gets hijacked, it really kicks off. It felt very emotional and scary, even more than I thought that Die Hard did. Maybe it's because there's a kid on board or because it's the president of our country, but it really builds this sense of panic, tension, and helplessness.

The action in this film is pretty good. Harrison Ford was in his early 50s while filming this film, and it is very impressive what he was able to do at that age. The small fights between the terrorists and the other people on board are great. The little sequences with the fighter jets are cool, too.

Negative Aspects

It's really hard to give this film a good rating. It is a very fun film and even a good one at that but it is actually a direct copy of Die Hard. It even has it's own yippee-kay-yay, which is the quote that I put at the top. They don't do much that differentiates itself from the former except exchange John McClane with the president, Al Powell with the Vice President, make Hans Gruber Russian, and make the Nakatomi Plaza the most important plane in the US.

Also, the effects in this film are an utter disaster. They look like a video game from the 1990s. It is horrible when they cut to the exterior shots and you see the awful CGI jets and plane. The worst of it is when the plane crashes. It is so distracting, so thank God that they only used a couple of exterior shots.

The final thing is the writing. The writing in this film can be okay at certain points, but it seems a little bit cringy for the most part. I think that that is most prominent with Alice Marshal, the president's daughter. There is a scene with her talking to Gary Oldman, and the dialogue is meant to be meaningful and strong, but is comes off as cliche and cringy.

Final Score

I have trouble rating this film, because I definitely like it, but if I were to watch a film like this, I'd just watch Die Hard.

I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 12+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)

"Air Force One"

Fun Factor: 9/10

Acting: 8/10

Story: 7/10

Characters: 7/10

Quality: 5.5/10

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

Released on July 25, 1997

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, disturbing themes and images

2 hours and 4 minutes

Harrison Ford as President Jim Marshall

Gary Oldman as Ivan Korshunov

Glenn Close as Vice President Kathryn Bennett

Wendy Crewson as Grace Marshall

Liesel Matthews as Alice Marshall


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