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'Air Force One' is a fun, if unoriginal, action film

Air Force One


Certain settings are used by filmmakers over and over because they lend themselves to particular genres. For example, airplanes bring together a group of people dependent on a few authority figures (pilots, flight attendants) in an inherently risky environment. Over the years, this setting has been used for many action films. And, as noted in the President's Day review, stories about the president also provide fodder for filmmakers. "Air Force One," which came out in 1997, combines the thrill of an "airplane at risk" film with the suspense of a "president in jeopardy" film.

"Air Force One" stars Harrison Ford as the president of the United States, James Marshall, who has a military background. One evening, while he is on his plane, a group of dangerous terrorists, led by Ivan Korshunov (played by Gary Oldman), take over. During the takeover, the president's men think they have at least gotten him into an escape pod in the cargo hold that will safely take him out of the plane. But the president does not get in and fights the terrorists as he stays hidden.

"Air Force One" does not have an original story. It is basically the same as "Die Hard," albeit with a higher class cast of characters. But the movie still works because it has an excellent cast. Harrison Ford, as usual, makes a great hero. Gary Oldman, as usual, makes a great villain. Glenn Close is also very good as the vice president.

The movie has a lot of impressive action scenes. An example is when the terrorists first hijack the plane. This scene is at least as exciting as the scene in "Die Hard" when the terrorists seize control of the building.

"Air Force One" is an enjoyable action film for anyone who does not mind the unoriginal storyline.