Air Force One

Harrison Ford and the Force are reunited in this 1997 actioner where Air Force One gets hijacked. If only there was someone on board who could fly a plane.

Erm… anyone else?

This is very much the earnest ’90s version of the more tongue-in-cheek Olympus Has Fallen from 2013, playing the material straight as a flightpath while still delivering loopy action with evil Gary Oldman in full-on yelling mode (almost suspiciously convincing as a fanatic). The airborne president-with-a-gun (Ford) shenanigans are nicely grounded by the Washington scenes, as the vice president (Glenn Close) tries to stop the jet going the way of Blair Force One.

Ford brings an effortless heroism and likability to the floating POTUS, a more convincing president than some actual presidents. Das Boot director Wolfgang Petersen is also back in his vehicular element (certainly more so than Troy), staging suspenseful stunts on authentic-looking sets. Jerry Goldsmith’s rousing score and a plot point involving faxing cement the film’s place as a solid ’90s action movie, as technically robust and symbolically patriotic as the plane itself.


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