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Film Reviews, Festivale movie section, a reel life
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Festivale Spring 1997

Air Force One

Now, I ask you, how can you have a DISASTER movie with Harrison Ford, I mean, if it has Harrison Ford in it, it can't be a disaster can it?

And of course, it's not. Who are we kidding?

Poor old Hollywood is in trouble, what with the peace, and all. Who are the bad guys now that Russia is just another struggling capitalist country? Well, of course, someone who wants to change it back.

This is one choice. Have you noticed how many films at the moment, in the cinemas and in the coming attractions use the white house and/or presidents? The stakes are high, the potential for scandal and emotional chest-rending is high. This is the first family! This is the place where the president sleeps. And so we have a murdering president (Gene Hackman), a murder at the white house (Murder at 1600), gosh, there's so much mayhem there it's a wonder the president gets out of bed in the morning.

After a stirring speech, apologising for USAmerican tardiness in taking humanitarian postures and willingness to go to war for reasons of money, not morality, the President Marshall is whisked away from his Moscow dinner to the high security haven of Air Force One.

Poster, Air Force One

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Haven? The man is rapidly driven into the toilet in a desperate attempt for a few moments peace from his aides and advisors. Thank goodness for his family, his Jackie O. - style wife and cute and well-scrubbed 12-year-old daughter. Between the dinner and the family moments we are introduced to a nice man with strong values (not one of those other politicians). This president wasn't a U-boat commander, he won his medal of honour as a pilot. Damn good thing too, because when the terrorists take over how do you call? President America.

Which doesn't take away from the fact that this film has plenty of good moments. It has good people, good film-makers, people like Glenn Close as the vice president who has to face off terrorists on one hand and a take-over bid by the secretary of the defence (Dean Stockwell) on the other.

There is some nice formation work in this film, lots of demonstration of the highly-orchestrated support and protection, and in the end, some fabulous airborne scenes. If you thought that climbing out of a perfectly good aircraft with only a parachute on was a bit on the silly side, just wait until you see how they ...

You didn't expect me to tell you how it ends did you? It won't change your life, it won't change your mind about anything, but it's a good way to spend a couple of hours in the dark. Go on, 'Holler for a Marshall'

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Just the facts:

Title: Air Force One
Written by: Andrew W. Marlowe
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Produced by: Marc Abraham (exec.); Armyan Bernstein; Thomas A. Bliss (exec.); Gil Gagnon (exec.); Gail Katz; Peter Kohn (assoc); David V. Lester (exec); Mary Montiforte (assoc.); Wolfgang Petersen; Jonathan Shestack; Michael Sweeney
Edited by Richard Francis-Bruce
Director of Photography:

The official website for this film is www.spe.sony.com/intro.html (Sony)
The Players: Harrison Ford, Glenn Close, Gary Oldman, Wendy Crewson
For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 1999 All rights reserved
Filed: 14-Nov-1997 : Last updated: : Last tested: 3-Jul-2014: Last compiled: 3-Jul-2014
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