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I'm sorry, but I just can't help it, I love watching Iron Eagle. Now, do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that this is a great movie. No, rather, I would put it that this is an endlessly entertaining movie. For people who cut this movie to pieces for not being realistic are kinda missing the point. Of course Iron Eagle's plot was ridiculous. But I believe its target audience was kids, and I sure remember finding this cool when I was little. Now I just find it amusing as a guilty pleasure, kinda like Road House. This movie is part of the great pantheon of 80's, kids-taking-on-the-stodgy-adult-power-structure movies. You must remember D.A.R.Y.L, Real Genius, E.T., etc. If you ask me, just watching Doug and Knotcher "Ride the Snake" in the beginning is worth the cost of the DVD. That whole sequence was so STUPID! But, at the same time, it was hilarious, funny, totally 80's, all that good stuff. So bottom line, Iron Eagle is a great 80's guilty pleasure. The hairstyles, the dancing, the music, the dialogue, its all funny as hell. I have Iron Eagle on DVD and to me it was totally worth $9.99 at Best Buy. If you love laughing at dated, unrealistic action movies, this one is a must-see. Oh yeah, and I think its plot was only marginally stupider than 1986's other fighter pilot action pic, Top Gun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, here's the deal. There's this American pilot who's flying along,
minding his own business, when suddenly he's outnumbered by evil, cowardly
non-American fighter planes (they're Middle Eastern types, but suffice to
say they don't like apple pie or Elvis Presley), who proceed to shoot him
down. Now this American pilot was doing nothing wrong, but those evil
non-Americans didn't care and before you know it he's banged up in a foreign
jail and sentenced to death!!
Now, what would normally happen here is that the US Military would carpet bomb a couple of nearby towns until the pilot was released, but not this time. Those evil peace lovin' types probably got involved and managed to stop any kind of retaliatory massacre. As you can imagine, this doesn't please the pilot's family and the evil foreign dictator has this smug, contented look about him. He'll make those Americans pay, oh yes indeed!
But He didn't reckon on Doug Masters, the captured pilots 16-year-old son. You see Doug has been able to fly a plane longer than he can drive a car, (which can't be that long) and decides to fly into that evil, foreign country and get his Dad back. So with the help of his friends, Doug and his wingman, retired pilot Chappy' Sinclair, Doug launches a two man air raid on the foreigners.
Now you'd think that this plan would be bound to fail, but you'd be wrong. Sure, those Middle Eastern types might be all veteran pilots, but Doug's got an ace up his sleeve, he listens to rock music when he flies! After shooting down a dozen or so enemy planes and blowing up an oil refinery, Doug lands at an airport and gets his now wounded dad onboard the plane. Understandably, the evil, not quite so smug anymore, dictator gets quite annoyed at these antics and takes to the skies himself, in bid to shoot down Doug. But the young lad listens to some more rock music and blows the villain out of the sky. HURRAH!
After Doug and Chappy have shot down 90% of their air force, the foreigners send up their last few planes in a rather poor attempt to shoot Doug down, but in the nick of time, a flight of US F16s turn up and scare them away.
I cannot recommend this film enough. It was the first ever videocassette movie that I brought, and until I was twenty, I kept hoping that my dad would get shot down over a foreign country so that I could rescue him. But he's doesn't like flying, so it didn't happen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most of us remember Top Gun as being the biggest hit of 1986. Iron
Eagle, despite the numerous sequels it produced, has been all but
forgotten. However it also made its mark in the same year, just not as
big of a mark. Iron Eagle is the story of a teenager (Jason Gedrick)
who with the help of an experienced jet pilot (Louis Gossett Jr.)
"borrows" a couple F16 fighters to rescue his father who is being held
prisoner in a hostile Arabic country. The film is absolutely ludicrous,
but definitely a sign of the times back then.
I do not recall if the hostile nation in this film is ever named, but it is obviously based on Lybia who was public enemy #1 for the USA back then. At least as far as non-communist bloc nations were concerned. The main bad guy who seems to be running the show is obviously based on Muammar Gadaffi, too. After a kangaroo court trial, Gedrick's father is sentenced to be hanged for simply being shot down in disputed air space near the enemy coast. (recall Gadaffi's "line of death") The US government seems to be planning no action to rescue the dad. It appears Gedrick and Gossett Jr. are his only hope!!!! In a series of ridiculous scenes perhaps even less probable than the actual air combat scenes, Gedrick and his teenage friends are able to steal all the necessary reconnaissance needed to set up the mission. Gedrick is able to gather enough information to convince Gossett to fly in there with him in his own plane. But can two F16s really penetrate the hostile country's air space and pull off the rescue?????? Sure they can! This was the 1980s!!! Ronald Reagan was president!! Americans could accomplish anything back then!!!! Whether or not this kind of plot seems interesting quickly becomes irrelevant once the film gets going. It is technically inept, full of impossible scenes, and lacking in logic from the get-go. This film was obviously rushed; no doubt to get it released before Top Gun which was a much better film in all areas. There are an embarrassing number of continuity goofs involving the weaponry carried on the wings of the planes. In some shots the planes appear fully loaded for battle. Then, the next shot will show only a couple missiles left. Then, the planes will do some kind of loop da loop and there will be no weapons visible at all. The editing department was either out with the flu or just didn't have time to get things right. The acting isn't bad. Gedrick is likable, and Gossett Jr. is terrific as ever. He basically plays the same kind of hard-ass he played in An Officer and a Gentleman. He likes the kid and his father, but he knows the kid will have to be toughened up drastically if they have any chance of pulling it off. Keep a close lookout for Robbie Rist who played Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch.
On the plus side, the soundtrack is pretty good. One Vision by Queen is a great rock song. There are also good songs by Twisted Sister, King Kobra, and Dio. And also its a joy to behold someone bombing the heck out of this worthless dictator and his stupid country. Blowing up his oil refinery may have been a bad decision, though. Something like that could theoretically hike up the price of gas world wide!! Just ask our current president or his father. When bombing a Middle Eastern country, the LAST thing you want to hit are its oil resources! Prices are high enough as it is these days! 5 of 10 stars. Mostly for the soundtrack.
Back in 1986 I was a sixteen year old boy, when I first saw this film, I thought back then that this movie was one of the coolest I've ever seen. Just the other night at a friends house, my friend said "how about a trip down old memory lane", he busted out an old dusty VHS tape and I could see it was the original Iron Eagle movie. He slapped it into his VCR and off we went. Now I am a 36 year old man, not the boy I was many years ago. As I watched the film, I could see flaws in detail, flaws in the special effects and a corny script and plot line. Now don't get me wrong, it's still a good film, if you are like stuck in the 80's! The only true thing I could get into with this film was the pretty good soundtrack. I am a big fan of the rock group Queen, they made parts of this film good enough to at least sit tight and watch. Good film back in the days, good film now, just a whole lot of corny! "Thank you for your time" Aaron Grace
I loved this movie 10 years ago when I was about 16 years old. My biggest
mistake was to watch it again, 10 years later. It's not the worst
"I-wanna-be-a-pilot" movies ever, but it has so many flaws in it that you
can hardly overlook them.
Queen's "One Vision" (along with the rest of the soundtrack) makes this film better than the average patriotic nonsense you usually get to see ;)
I remember seeing this movie in the theater when it first came out. I think I saw it three or four times. It was the best air combat movie I had seen at the time.
I hear this movie compared to Top Gun a lot. In my opinion there is no contest. Iron Eagle is far better than Top Gun. Here's why. Top Gun had very good aerial combat sequences. Some of the best I've still ever seen. However, the plot of Top Gun was AWOL. All I remember of Top Gun is, they practiced, he got the girl, his pal died and he was the hero at the end. Iron Eagle had a good plot. However the aerial combat scenes are pretty fake and tame. Sure it was unbelievable that they could pull it off but there was a plot and a good one.
Iron Eagle's fun lies in it's youthful angst and comedy. Louis Gossett Jr. shows his veteran acting skill in this movie as the veteran pilot. Jason Gedrick was good as the young upstart pilot with too much testosterone. They chemistry between the actors was good. There is one scene where they young pilot asks for Chappy's help and he turns him down and Louis Gossett's acting skills become quite evident. One of the best scenes in the movie is the race between the motorcycle and the Cessna with a pounding rock song in the background. It is one of the best done flight sequences I've seen in a move and is not fake like the combat scenes. Another scene is when the kids use their dupe their parents and other military personnel into getting them what ever they want from the base, including two F-16s. But more than these scenes, it's really the soundtrack that makes the movie. There are songs by Queen(One Vision), Dio(Hide in the Rainbow) and The Spencer Davis Group(Gimmie Some Lovin), what a combo! Not only does the music sound good to our young pilot, it also makes him fly and fight better! While I can't say that Iron Eagle is a masterpiece, it is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Iron Eagle is out on DVD! Now I finally have and excuse to buy a DVD player!
The film focuses a boy about eighteen-years-old (Jason Gedrick) ; when
his father (Tim Thomerson) is taken prisoner by a dictator (David
Suchet) from Middle East , he steals a F 16 fighter jet to rescue his
daddy . He's helped by the brave Colonel ¨Chappy¨ Sinclair (Louis
Gosset Jr. , though Morgan Freeman auditioned for the part) . The movie
contains a plethora of action scenes , explosion , blasts , aircraft
battles with various jet-planes flying to sound-velocity and blown up .
The picture is a blend of typical films from the 80s , as ¨Top Gun¨and
¨Rambo¨ but starred by a teenager .
The story provides entertainment and action with no sense but being sometimes a little bit boring and dull . All of the fighter aircraft used (F-16 fighters ; plus , F-21 fighters depicting enemy MiGs) are actually Israeli Air Force aircraft , repainted with the USAF symbol and a fictitious enemy symbol . Jason Gedrick is the valiant he-man , he causes wreck havoc to nasties commanded by the villain David Suchet . Our hero ¨Chappy¨ is well personified by Louis Gosset Jr , usual to all the¨Iron Eagle¨ saga . Spectacular cinematography by Adam Greenberg with excellent sky-shots . However , the score is awful , but is based in disco-music and synthesizer , in spite of being composed by Basil Poledouris (¨Conan¨ music's author) . The motion picture was regularly directed by Sidney J.Furie . It's followed by three sequels, all directed by Furie with exception the second directed by John Glen , thus : ¨Iron Eagle 2¨ (1988) with Mark Humphrey ; ¨Aces : Iron Eagle III¨ (1992) with Rachel McLish and Horst Buchhold ; and ¨Iron Eagle IV¨ with Rachel Blanchard .
This movie is not quite as bad as some of the comments want you to believe.
It does have some serious reality flaws. But that's exactly where it
excels. This is not a story about a kid trying to rescue his dad. This is
a story about the flying fantasies of youth. I grew up playing quite a few
flight simulators on computers, and this added to my fantasy of someday
flying a fighter jet. This is exactly what this movie's about, a kid
completely enthralled with flight simulations that he becomes a good
They should have left it at that though. The kid's fantasy of rescuing his dad (also a pilot) from some mysterious middle eastern base should not have been brought to reality. Reality should not have extended past his races in his single-engine crop-duster with a motorcycle. Throughout the movie, the kid does not see the world as a dangerous place. He still sees it as one big simulation. This is exactly how you should watch the movie, otherwise, it will seem like a ridiculous plot that's out-of-touch with the real world.
I am astounded at the number of people who put down "teen" movies such
as this and THE WRAITH, including Mr. Maltin, while obviously not
understanding the genre itself and how it works - they must have grown
too old and too intelligent to remember what the world was like when
hormones raged, leaving reason in the dust.
Films such as IRON EAGLE and THE WRAITH attempt to simplistically instill positive values in teen-age audiences. Courage, creativity, loyalty, banding together to right wrongs and conquer evil with good - these intentions are at the heart of the narratives of both films. Blaming these films for not being "adult" is like blaming FROM HERE TO ETERNITY because it's not a musical. They are what they are and they achieve their successes by appealing to a teen-age world where they can be and/or become heroes, successes. Of course the plots are fantastic and simplistic - because in reality teens don't run the world or get to fly jets into enemy countries to rescue their dads. However, by feeding values to this audience in a manner that they can understand and subliminate, they may just take root and turn them into adults with some of those same values.
Diatribe aside, I thought this was a fun movie. Jason Gedrick, the young lead looks very much like the young Michael Jackson and does quite well with a very demanding role. Louis Gossett, Jr. gives an excellent performance - truly award worthy if it had been in a film that had garnered more critical praise. Watching him deal with conflicting feelings in sorting out his character's actions, I wanted to yell out, "Denzel, eat your heart out."
The cinematography, sound, editing, score are all quality. A good solid little film and worth one's attention at least once. Gossett alone is worth the price of a rental. Check it out, even if you're not a teen!
Ahhh, to be twelve years old again. I'm pretty sure if I was still that
age, I would have loved this preposterous medley of bad acting, copious
amounts of Queen's "One Vision" and senseless explosions. Sadly (and I
do mean that), I've grown up and can recognize IRON EAGLE for what it
is... and while it's not god-awful, it's not all that good, either.
IRON EAGLE is the story of new high school grad Doug Masters (Jason Gedrick, whom you'd recognize from CROSSING THE BRIDGE and ONE EYED KING had you ever heard of those movies). His fighter pilot dad has been captured by an evil Middle East country for illegally entering its territory (imagine that!). Now papa's gonna be hung and nobody in the US of A is ready to do anything about... 'cept Doug. So our hero steals military intelligence and an F-16 fighter jet (it's quite easy, really... just get your friends to distract army dudes by 'accidentially' spilling juice on their shirts and stuff). With the help of bright spot Louis Gossett Jr., he soars in to save the day.
IRON EAGLE actually starts out promising. You might even be willing to forgive its ludicrousness, but it gradually morphs into a meaningless series of fireballs and clichéd dialog. It seems perfectly content to dish out cheap thrills to violence-obsessed boys, and do nothing more. It's also too long and at times borders on the laughable. The film still has a certain charm, but unless your night is slower than molasses, you'll want to skip it.
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