Monday, June 22, 2009

Air Force One. C+

'Air Force One' is like a fictional 'Apollo 13' only it lacks raw human emotion. Then again, that statement might be a tad erroneous, because '13' is set in outer space, whereas 'Air Force One' is simply in an airplane. But they are similar in that they both have a team on the ground trying to save the air craft, and occupying the crafts in both films is a man determined to bring everyone to safety. In this film, Harrison Ford is that man. He plays U.S President James Marshall. Marshall is on his way back to the states in a massive luxury plane when the craft is suddenly overtaken by a group of Russian neo-nationalists, disguised as reporters. They are led by Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), who wants to force the U.S to free the tyrannical general Radek. 'Air Force One' doesn't really attempt to take aim at any level of seriousness. Rather it turns itself into an action-packed star vehicle, and for the most part it works, though I didn't leave the movie thinking that I had just seen a great action movie. Of course, the movie is entirely predictable, and I think it would have helped itself out quite a bit if a big twist was added to the script. Ford is surprisingly dull as President Marshall-at least compared to the usual characters he plays. But luckily Oldman gives a stellar turn as the villain. Oldman is a great actor, because he knows how to play characters that the audience loves, and then ones that they absolutely despise. In this one, he displays his aptitude for the latter. The director is Wolfgang Peterson, known mostly for his big budget actioners like 'Troy' and 'Poseidon.' He stays true to his form with 'Air Force One,' though that's not necessarily a good thing. The movie isn't bad, but it's nothing we haven't seen before, and for an action movie, it certainly does not supply the 'wow factor' that we hoped it would.

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