HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  Fire Birds Look At The Size of That ChopperBuy this film here.
Year: 1990
Director: David Green
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, Sean Young, Bryan Kestner, Illana Diamant, Dale Dye, Mary Ellen Trainor, J.A. Preston, Peter Onorati, Charles Lanyer, Marshall R. Teague, Cylk Cozart, Charles Kahlenberg, Gregory Vahanian, Bob Lujan
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jake Preston (Nicolas Cage) is a helicopter pilot with the U.S Army, flying missions into South America to combat the drugs cartels there, but as he gives his briefing to his superior officers he has some bad news to impart as their last excursion there resulted in every pilot dead and every aircraft destroyed except him and his. The reason for this is that the drugs barons have a superb pilot at their disposal, and he has been running rings around the Americans in his Scorpion chopper, so Jake knows they will have to bring in the heavy duty Apaches now - and he means to fly one.

Like Top Gun but thought it was a bit too wishy-washy in the flagwaving department? Then can I recommend Fire Birds, also known as Wings of the Apache in some territories, an aerial drama very much in that vein and if such a thing were possible, even more stupid? This time the baddies were not the Soviets, thanks to Glasnost meaning the U.S.A. were supposed to be more friendly towards them now (and vice versa, not that it stopped them continuing to spy on one another), so step forward the evildoers of eighties action movies when the Russkies couldn't make it: that's right, the Central and South Americans making billions out of United States' drug addiction.

Never mind that the C.I.A. were proven to be making a hefty amount of money out of that as well, rendering the patriotic opening quote from ex-chief of that venerated organisation and President at the time George Bush all the more ironic, but what's an action flick supposed to do when the Russians won't play ball any longer? Anyway, the main reason anybody would track this down in the future was that it was an early indication that star Cage was more than happy to appear in films which, shall we say, failed to stretch his talents as long as he could receive a healthy fee, and if he acted a tad crazy in his performance, then all the better for his fans. Suffice to say Cage was as manic as they would have wanted him to be here.

Not consistently, but enough to make his character's insistence on having his piloting skills accompanied by innuendo-laden commentary courtesy of his own good self move him all the closer to a sort of helicopter-flying, missile-launching Sid James. His main squeeze here was an alarmingly thin Sean Young as fellow pilot and octogenarian blues singer Billie Lee Guthrie (well, maybe not the second part, but with a name like that...) who Jake used to go out with but they argued too much so she broke off the relationship. Now to demonstrate his capability in the sky he has to do the same between the sheets, so you can imagine how Billie re-succumbs to his dubious charms eventually.

Though actually at various points Jake looked to be cultivating a similarly amorous bond with his mentor Brad Little, played by Tommy Lee Jones, another actor who had shown himself to be somewhat above such simpleminded gung ho business but evidently they must have offered him too much money to turn down what was in effect a recruitment film even actual military minds would have criticised as simplistic. For a long hour Jake trains and trains, overcoming such terrible afflictions as a dominant left eye (or was it a dominant right eye? Whatever, it affects his targeting ability) but still finding space to yell and whoop and generally present himself as the greatest thing since sliced bread because... well, there doesn't seem to be much reason beyond his piloting powers, which in a movie like this is more than enough. When you look at selected patriotic movies made in the decades before this, you could see how to do it right, but Fire Birds turned this to unthinking jingoism, and that wasn't helpful. Music by David Newman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1195 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: