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(Review originally written at 12 September 2004)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story is totally unbelievable and stupid but this is simply not a movie that is trying to be believable and smart, it's made to entertain and entertain it does!

What is it with German directors making patriotic American movies? You have Roland Emmerich who made the patriotic movies "Independence Day" and "The Patriot" and you have Wolfgang Petersen who made this movie. Yes "Air Force One" is a patriotic movie, I mean the American president fighting a couple of terrorist, how more patriotic can it get. But is it a bad thing? In this case no, the patriotism really didn't bother me, since it is clear that this movie is just simple action non-sense that is not meant to be taking serious.

I find it funny that many people call Gary Oldman the highlight of the movie. This movie might very well be Oldman's worst role till date. He played many villains before and he has done way better. Compared to his other roles this is a very average role for him, it almost feel like he is holding back. I think it says something about Oldman as an actor that people still love him in this movie. Harrison Ford acts a bit stiff in the beginning but once the action begins he seems to become more and more comfortable in his role and becomes a believable American president. I love both Xander Berkeley and William H. Macy, they are two of my favorite small part actors so it was fun for me to see them both in this movie. J├╝rgen Prochnow, best known for his role as the captain in Wolfgang Petersen's masterpiece "Das Boot" also plays a small part in this movie.

Like I said, the story is total non-sense but still it is not made like it's totally unbelievable, which is I think thanks to Petersen's professional directing and it is the action that also doesn't disappoint.

Another thing that also doesn't disappoint is the musical score by Jerry Goldsmith.

(SPOILER) A thing that does disappoint is the ending when air force one crashes into the sea. It's very poorly made and it reminded me of a computer animation the always used to made in the 90's to reconstruct a plane crash and showed on the news. (END OF SPOILER)

So as long as you don't take it all very serious, this is a very entertaining action movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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