Blue Thunder is a specially modified helicopter. It is for police work, but is armed and designed to counter street insurgencies. Its makers want to show what it will do, but have to train Los Angeles Police pilot Frank Murphy to fly and use it in order to allow it to operate in the city. Murphy and the project pilot have differences going back to Vietnam. The conflict between them continues to heat up as Murphy begins to suspect that Blue Thunder is more than has been disclosed. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The helicopter used to portray Blue Thunder was a French-made Gazelle with bolt-on parts to change its appearance. The chin cannon assembly was too heavy, necessitating a weight attached to the tail to keep the nose from dipping forward in flight. See more »
During Murphy and Lymangood's night test flight, the numeral "2" on Blue Thunder appears backwards in one exterior shot. See more »
[Murphy and Lymangood are on patrol]
All those people. What do you suppose they're all doing down there?
Well, according to the latest statistics, about 1 million, 775 thousand of them are... getting it on!
That many, eh!
The rest are waiting for 'Laverne and Shirley'!
See more »
There are no opening credits after the title is shown. See more »
A helicopter is developed for police work using full surveillance technology, stealth modes etc. Officer Murphy and his partner are trained to fly it for street tests. However Murphy suspects that it has more sinister uses when he finds that the man in charge is Colonel Cochrane who he has a history with in Vietnam. The battle between the two men heads for a showdown as Murphy gets evidence to back up his suspicions.
Made as a film but turned into an inferior tv show this film is entertaining but no more than that. The plot is interesting with plenty of conspiracy stuff but the action is sometimes forced. Because most of the helicopter shenanigans are save for the climax we are given car chases etc to help fill the time. The helicopter itself is very cool and well used and the final battle above the city is exciting if formulaic. The morals of a `big brother' helicopter, able to pry everywhere isn't examined as well as could have been but it's still interesting.
Scheider is always good to watch and does well, as do Warren Oates and a young Daniel Stern. However the show is stolen and the film made by a great baddie from Malcolm McDowell (catch you later!) who is menace incarnate for me.
Overall an enjoyable thriller but it really only sticks in the memory due to the TV series that followed worth watching for McDowell though.
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