HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Executive Decision Skyjacked
Year: 1996
Director: Stuart Baird
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, Joe Morton, David Suchet, B.D. Wong, Len Cariou, Whip Hubley, Andreas Katsulas, Mary Ellen Trainor, Marla Maples, J.T. Walsh, Ingo Neuhaus, William James Jones, Nicholas Pryor
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Colonel Austin Travis (Steven Seagal) is leading his men on a mission to retrieve stolen nerve gas from a Middle Eastern terrorist group, and they manage to knock out their defences in the hideout but are in for a disappointment: the gas has vanished and they have been sent on a wild goose chase. Back in the United States three weeks later, government consultant Dr David Grant (Kurt Russell) is taking his flying lessons and has been allowed to fly solo, but soon something will distract him from that: an airliner hijacked by those terrorists...

The heyday of aeroplanes in crisis disaster movies was the seventies, but ever since there have been attempts to revive the genre for a one-off, and Executive Decision was a nineties example, only somewhat in the shadow of the Harrison Ford vehicle Air Force One. What everyone who saw this came away talking about was the twist about forty-five minutes in, where co-star Seagal, who up till that point has been looking every bit the man of action, meets an ignominious fate. For many this was enough to recommend it, and it's true the film did lack a sense of spectacle for most of the running time.

Dr Grant ends up on one of Travis's missions when the plane is hijacked by Islamic fundamentalist Nagi Hassan (David Suchet) demanding that his brother (Andreas Katsulas), also a terrorist, be released by the West. But he has a trick up his sleeve in that the nerve gas is now contained onboard the plane and he is planning to unleash it on Washington D.C. if his requests are not met. Of course, this was made before the tragic events of September 2001 and watching it now, putting fictional terrorists in a plane they plan to crash with devastating effect isn't quite as much fun.

If you can put real life to the back of your mind, then you should find this relatively painless, but also strangely unexciting. After the palaver that gets Austin's men on board using a Stealth fighter which "docks" with the airliner, along with Grant and engineer Cahill (Oliver Platt) who for no good reason has to climb up into the belly of the plane as well, the action is not so much claustrophobic as restricted. Much of the time is spent seeing the cast of heroes whispering to each other in cramped, confined spaces, which is far less tense than it sounds.

The script by Jim Thomas and John Thomas is good at getting the characters into situations where there doesn't appear to be any way out, yet the payoffs are oddly unmoving. Halle Berry gets very little to do as a plucky stewardess - she doesn't even land the plane Karen Black-style at the end - and some of the cast seem overqualified for such a meat and potatoes thriller in the sky, including a sadly underused J.T. Walsh as a senator meant to epitomise the weak authority figures who have allowed this crisis to occur. Elsewhere, the gung ho aspects are leavened with humour verging on the ridiculous, such as when special forces man Joe Morton ends up semi-paralysed and dictating how to dismantle the bomb to a panicky Cahill, in between passing out. So if Executive Decision is as unmemorable as its title, it does at least offer the chance to see underrated action hero Russell strutting his stuff. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3298 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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: