Ford for President


Air Force One (1997) Review 5
Director:Wolfang Peterson,
Starring:Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glen Close, Wendy Crewson, William H. Macy
Length:124 minutes


OK, so it might be a little hard to swallow the fact that a man with such charming good looks, and impenetrable charisma as Harrison Ford could ever be president of the United States (c’mon, just take a look at the last five). But nevertheless, ass-kicking (ala Die-Hard ) president is what we get; a rugged heroic, and most un-politician like leader of the free world.

The action is relentlessly non-stop, save for a few brief moments of solitude as the Prez sneaks in the big Michigan vs. Notre Dame game on the presidential tube of Air Force One. This coming just after having delivered a no-holds-barred anti-terrorism speech in Moscow. But as Air Force One takes to the air on its way back home, President James Marshall finds himself in need to back up his words in a hurry. Led by a frightfully fantastic Gary Oldman, a small group of Russian-radicals, loyal to the old “mother Russia,” cleverly sneak into Air Force One and decide to hold the Prez hostage in exchange for their recently imprisoned nuke-crazed leader, General Radek (Jurgen Prochnow-who teamed up with director Wolfgang Peterson on the critically acclaimed film Das Boot).

Taking to heart his recent speech, President Marshall decides to use his past military experience (a medal of honor winner) to take back, by any means necessary, his ship, and his wife and daughter, who are being held hostage. On the ground is the first ever female vice-president, a tough-as-nails Glen Close, who’s battling not only the hostages in the air, but a stubborn Defense-Secretary (Dean Stockwell) on the ground.

As with his taut and engrossing German U-boat thriller Das Boot, Wolfgang Peterson once again provides that claustrophobic tension, but this time on a plane. With absolutely astonishing visual effects and great camera work, the film’s incredibility somehow becomes very realistic. This is an action-flick in every sense of the word, but it also has an element of intelligence that puts it above most in the genre. Oh yeah, and there’s that guy Ford too. He’s the president that every American has been waiting for, for a long long time. Tough enough to risk his life to stand by his beliefs, and down-to-earth enough to sit back, have a beer, and watch the football game. Now that’s how you get re-elected.