The Cold War still chills many an imagination. Want proof? Watch Peterson's sleek,
action-packed political thriller, Air Force One. It proves beyond doubt how the
one and only super cop of the contemporary world is damn good at teaching a thing
or two, in a wholesome American way, to the terrorists. Incidentally, this time
round they hail from the disintegrated USSR. Thereby, the good Yankee, the US
President, the hero of the movie, gets a chance up there in the air to prove the
forever-imminent American destiny to be the leading light of the world.
The President, if this film is any proof, has a real handful of assorted jobs. He has to go to Kazhakistan, liberally share a piece of his mind with the international terrorists there at a State Dinner, get his plane hijacked thanks to the tacit co-operation of the not-so-unwilling local authorities. And then, at an altitude of 30,000 feet, put up the Rambo act, padded with Tarzan antics, saving his family and the nation and, not to forget, the rest of the world, from evil-minded Russian terrorists.
They keep on reminding his impressionable teenage daughter how her Papa, too, killed millions in the name of an honorable war. All the while, down there on terra firma, there are any number of Brutuses, from his own and the Opposition party, using this as a godsend opportunity to snip off his chances at a second run.
Air Force One - as general knowledge garnered through the very many game shows doing our channels proud can tell you - is the presidential airbus. Fitted with every possible means of communication, its censors cannot fathom how arms get smuggled up there on board. With the tacit connivance of the evil locals, the terrorists get in, posing as journalists. Once airborne, they break cover and all hell is let loose.
The President is whisked away in the engine area. But the nice all-American fella that he is, he manages to escape and "guide" the plane to safety. It is indeed worth a watch to find out how the man does it, because you get, in the process, a thrill a minute till you almost fall off the chair, your knuckles all white.
You can recognize so many real life parallels, too. The spunky First Lady, the loving daughter of the First couple, the all efficient Lady Vice President, the evil President baiters - the real works, in short. The real strength of Air Force one is its picturization. Though the story line is the type that should shoot in a thousand desi versions, it is the convincing treatment that is appealing. Of course, you should not ask scientific questions about the air pressure et al. After all, a mainstream film is the willing suspension (from the heavens) of disbelief, right?
The other noteworthy factor is the acting. The other not so known actors/actresses
ably support Harrison Ford, at his action best, here. The music, especially L'Internationale
with a hint of the Ninth Symphony, is very effective. A feel-good watch, in brief,
which entertains you while educating you about the evils of terrorism.