Air Force One (1997)

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Terror is on the rise and Russia asks the help of the United States to get rid of a radical general in Kazakhstan, Ivan Radek (Jurgen Prochnow). Moscow sees him as a terrorist and it is now in the best interest of the United States to see that he is removed from power. That is what starts the wild ride that you have with Air Force One. James Marshall (Harrison Ford), the President of the United States is in Moscow to make a speech congratulating Russian President Petrov (Alan Woolf) for the capture of Radek. Marshall sets the room aflame with his speech as it is not the one that was written form him, instead he tells those in the room and all those watching the even all over the world that terrorists and terrorism will no longer be tolerated. He vows that he and his administration will do everything in its power to make sure that human suffering due to the atrocities performed by others. He basically puts all terrorists on notice and is almost daring them to do something about it. Little does he know that someone is already planing on doing something about it and that the plan for it has already been set in motion.

James Marshall’s press secretary is upset and his National Security Advisor Jack Doherty (Tom Everett) is almost livid thinking that what the President was thinking was a private matter. He does not like the fact at all that it is now Policy and one that he feels is not in the best interest of future election possibilities and that it just can’t be enforced. Marshall just tells him its done and to get behind it, not giving Doherty and room to come back at him. James feels good about what he has done and so does his wife Grace Marshall (Wendy Crewson), she thinks it will definitely get him re-elected. Others though do not feel as patriotic about what is happening and are already helping loyalists of Radek to infiltrate Air Force One. Loyalists that want to see Radek released and returned to power. They want to see Russia reunited as one country again under the iron fist of Communist Russian rule. They feel that it is the fault of America, its capitalism and free thinking that is making Russia its puppet and making it less then what it could be. They will stop at nothing to make sure that America and its President pays and that Radek is set free.

The plot setup for the film is fantastic and pulls you right into the film as if you were actually there sitting next and experiencing all that is happening to the First Family. You can feel their pain, feel their panic and fear and even feel the deaths of the staffers that are executed with no emotion at all by the hands of the terrorist Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman). It is up to Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Glenn Close) to make sure that Marshall stays the President and that the Cabinet stays sane as they try to get Air Force One back on the ground. Glenn was OK as the VP but nothing spectacular. I don’t feel she executed the script well at all, it was too formal, too robotic as if she had no emotions at all. Maybe she was trying to portray a fish out of water type thing but if she was she failed at it. She made the VP look like a spineless fool that was being pushed around by the Cabinet. Thankfully she didn’t have too much film time so you can’t really hold that against the film too much.

In all this is a fantastic film and we get to see exactly why we love Harrison Ford in roles like this. It has drama, thrills, suspense and tons of action and even explosions to keep just about everyone glued to the film. You want to see how it ends even if you already know how. You just want to see the characters succeed and will always feel the pain when someone dies. This is a masterpiece of film making and don’t let anyone ever tell you different.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★★☆