Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Airboss (1997)

Airboss poster 


When Terrorism Threatens America, They Threaten Back.

Movie Review:

In the former Soviet Republic, the military are working on a new fighter, the MIG 35 "Firebomb". Unfortunately some ex-Spetsnaz soldiers, led by Bone Conn (Kayle Watson, an actual Navy SEAL), go ahead and steal the thing in order to dominate the world's oil supplies (somehow). The Pentagon gets involved and send in special forces to take it back, aided by top gun Frank White (Frank Zagarino), a jet pilot who can't forgive himself for the death of his student during flight training. Frank has to overcome his fears, defeat the bad guys and get the MIG back.

Oh sweet jesus, this was just appalling. Easily the worst Zags film I have seen so far, by a long shot. The only redeemable feature of the film was the Zags himself; other than him, this film featured the worst acting I have ever seen in anything made available for sale to the public. This truly is student film quality. The camera is the shakiest I have ever seen (I had to close my eyes a few times to give them a rest), not even able to focus on a television screen without wobbling all over the place. Hell it can't even stay in focus a lot of the time, and horrible effects are employed to simulate motion such as spinning the camera in a circle like a bad transition.

Airboss 01

Most of the film nothing actually really happens. Frank flies stock footage jet, crashes stock footage jet, walks through desert, gets captured, escapes, comes back to get MIG and bad guys. All the while the most obnoxious Casio keyboard soundtrack plays underneath. The action, when it happens, is atrocious. I roughly estimate that half of this film is stock footage of jet fighters flying in circles, military helicopters zipping about, and soldiers running on sand. You can tell when it's stock footage, too, because the camera stops fucking shaking. When it actually is Zags or somebody else shooting, the muzzle of the gun is mostly just out of shot so that no effects have to be used. In a battle scene in the final third - the only vaguely passable part of the film - we do see some actual guns being fired by the stars of the movie. Woop-de-fucking-do.

And the dialogue. Oh, the dialogue. Some choice lines include "I'll have all your asses like white on rice", and "That major night time drop that became a goat fuck." Excuse me? Became a what? If it wan't for that one line, this film could have passed for family time viewing. Not that you would want to subject your family to this, but that's beside the point. And I can't forget the brilliant line Zags spouts during the final dogfight with Conn: "Oh you know America, the country that paralysed your nation? Forced your people to sell trinkets by the road side? Hahaha." What in the actual fuck.

Director J. Christian Ingvordsen has made a living out of direct to video action - which should be applauded in my books - but this is the first film of his I have seen, and it's not good. Can you believe there are four of these Airboss movies? FOUR. According to his IMDB bio, "The AIRBOSS films feature state of the art digital and miniature effects as well as unprecedented access to United States military hardware." What film was this guy watching? It certainly wasn't the first Airboss film, that's for damn sure.

No. Just no. But I won't write off Ingvordsen from seeing the one film. Our friends at Comeuppance Reviews enjoyed his film Comrades in Arms, so I'll check that out at some point. I have to see the Airboss sequels: Airboss II: Preemptive Strike, Airboss III: The Payback and Airboss IV: The X Factor. I really, really do.


Frank had BAD DOG written on the front of his helmet. That's it.

Sourced From:

An ex-rental VHS from around the time the film first came out.


There's a video on YouTube that claims to be for Airboss, but none of the footage in that trailer was in the movie. Who knows, maybe it's really and just another feather in the cap for this shit-storm of a movie, but as it doesn't represent Airboss at all, I decided not to include it.