Saturday, February 3, 2024

Air Strike (2003)

Air Strike (2003)


The Spirit of This Country will Not be Defeated.


Air Strike - Official Trailer 0-19 screenshot

They don't mess around with preamble in Air Strike: the mission is briefed at minute one and stock footage of helicopters are flying over enemy territory at minute five. At the launch of the first missile, the first guitar riff kicks in and the first bad guy soldiers with accents are annihilated. Huge explosions and chants of USA abound! The mission was a success but one chopper was destroyed and three soldiers killed. The Colonel needs to find fitting replacements.

Meet Captain Garrett (Robert Rusler), brother of one of the dead soldiers, and Lieutenant "Charlie" - a WOMAN (plot twist) the daughter of the General with a chip on her shoulder. They are deployed on foot into the holdup of Ivan the Terrible, the local drug dealer, with orders to bring him back dead or alive but the mission is a bust. Drinking their sorrows at a bar, a bomb goes off and takes out another of their team.

Air Strike - Official Trailer 0-37 screenshot (1)

This came out two years after 9/11 so we are well and truly still in that mindset, though the film takes place in a made-up eastern European country called Petrovia. The explosion at the bar is brutal and surprisingly gory and adds another catalyst to wipe out Ivan, though he makes it difficult. On a scout mission, Captain Garrett is shot down and captured. Time for a rescue mission. HOOAH!

The bad guy is called Ivan the Terrible and is a walking cliché. Also he is sometimes dubbed and it's pretty hilarious; like when Seagal is dubbed in his films from the same period. He has quality lines like "I'm going to fuck you to death!' when playing chicken with two helicopters. His first officer is called Chicago, which is nearly as funny. Neither actually have a great deal to do in the film; it's all about the good guys and the size of the explosions!

Air Strike - Official Trailer 1-11 screenshot

This was directed by David Worth – director of many action films, most notably Kickboxer – so there's plenty of action in the movie, though about a third of it is stock footage of helicopters firing missiles as seen through command control monitors. Some of the chopper scenes look made for the film, others are lifted from 1990's Fire Birds, and there's also pretty rough looking CG choppers - a real mixed bag.

Thankfully the excessive quantity of real explosions (seriously half of Petrovia is blown up), guns akimbo machine gun action and even martial arts make up for a few ropey choppers. There's gallons of bravado and military one-liners to keep you entertained, plus of course added sexual tension because Charlie is... A WOMAN. The best part is one man killing machine Garret going apeshit with a machete on Petrovian scum.


Air Strike - Official Trailer 0-48 screenshot