Air Force One

Year: 1997
Studio: Columbia
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Producer: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: Andrew W Marlowe
Cast: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, William H Macy, Jurgen Prochnow, Dean Stockwell

It's funny enough imagining most of our political leaders here in Australia morphing into Rambo-styled action heroes (John Howard arm wrestling Osama bin Laden in a shady underground opium den somewhere in Afghanistan?), but we could almost believe it of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

The idea is simple. Russian nationalists who want to restore the former Soviet Union to her former glory sneak their way onto the President's plane and take he and his family hostage to get attention for their cause.

But the band's leader (Oldman) doesn't count on the President (Ford) being the kind of guy US presidents since Reagan have styled themselves after - a unilateral ass-kicker who gets the job done, Hollywood style.

It's very silly and light, and Petersen's camerawork tends towards the fantastical James Bond rather than gritty Jason Bourne end of the spectrum. It gets more and more thrilling and unbelievable as it goes on, and despite material way below the talents of the principals (except Ford, who hasn't had a decent movie since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), it's effective escapism.

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