Reviewed by: Tim Emmerich
Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Jurgen Prochnow, Wendy Crewson, Liesel Matthews, Paul Guilfoyle, Xander Berkeley, William H. Macy and Dean Stockwell / Director: Wolfgang Petersen / Released by: Columbia Pictures
Suspenseful and nail-biting action are the cornerstones of “Air Force One”! Albeit, violent and filthy-language laced, this movie will have you sitting on the edge of your seats!
Jim Marshall (Harrison Ford) is the President of the United States and has just taken a strong stand on terrorism and human rights violations at a speech in Moscow. Unfortunately, that is challenged almost immediately as Air Force One is hijacked by Russian Nationalist Terrorists who want the President to convince the Russian leader to release General Radek, an imprisoned Russian leader. Throughout this hair-raising adventure, director Wolfgang Petersen (famous for his epic drama aboard a German u-boat in “Das Boot” and “In the Line of Fire”), a gallery of surprising thrills and spectacular stunts abound.
From a Christian perspective, this movie is EXTREMELY violent. Numerous people are killed, including execution by a pistol discharge to the head. This is particularly troubling because the President’s daughter, Alice, is only 12 years old and the executions are done in front of her and others. Furthermore, one lady was executed in this manner and knew it was coming as the terrorist was counting down in attempt to draw out a resisting passenger.
The language was also dismal. The most troubling was when the 12-year-old Alice said “God” in a derogatory manner. Also, the president himself said “G** D***” a couple of times and vice president Bennett (Glenn Close) said “how the H*** did they get the president, how the H*** did they get Air Force One?” Sexual-violent hints were also present, like when the terrorist asks how the vice president’s silk blouse is, implying that she would be sweating from the pressure of the situation.
On the positive side, the vice president does request the citizens of the United States to pray for the safety of everyone on Air Force One. Refreshingly, the president’s stand on terrorism and human rights violations is applaudable, not because of any political advantages, but because it is the right thing to do.
“Air Force One” will leave you with a sense of triumph. BUT, the violence and language drag you through the myre in the process. A certain amount of violence was needed to convey the storyline, but this was clearly excessive and rightly deserves its “R” rating. Imagine what work the airlines will have to do to edit this movie before showing it to in-flight passengers—if they choose to show it at all :)
Year of Release—1997