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Air America was the CIA's private airline operating in Laos during the Vietnam War, running anything and everything from soldiers to foodstuffs for local villagers. After losing his pilot's license, Billy Covington is recruited into it, and ends up in the middle of a bunch of lunatic pilots, gun-running by his friend Gene Ryack, and opium smuggling by his own superiors. Written by
Jeff Cross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to show-business trade paper 'Variety', the picture utilized a "vast army of tech assistants to help carry out the stunt flying and crashes on the atmospheric Thailand locations". See more »
Whilst flying the helicopter prior to, during and after rescuing Billy from the airstrip 'Tango 7', the yellow paint on the interior framing of the cockpit door to Ryack's right appears and disappears from shot to shot. See more »
Air America fails as a movie because you don't connect with its story, nor with its characters. It's a movie avoid of meaning, or soul.
Our story follows the life of Billy (Robert Downey Jr.), who's forced to take up a job as a pilot in Vietnam War Era Laos since his license in the States gets cancelled after one dangerous stunt too many. There he meets up with Gene (Mel Gibson), who becomes something of a mentor for him. The rest of the film is your average clichéd corruption story. The army bad, family good, lovable rogues great. You know the drill.
You'd think that movie with both Gibson and Downey in it would be at least mildly entertaining, but the thing is, this came out at exactly the wrong moment in both of their careers. Downey was still just a kid, nowhere near his later star power, whereas Gibson had just begun his long downward spiral from fame. Though, to be fair, I can't imagine how bad this film would have been without the two of them, because it's really the script which is to blame here. The characters have no depth, the villains are hilariously one-dimensional, and the story fails to raise any stages worth caring about.
On the positive side of things, the technical aspects work just fine, some of the flying stunts and action scenes are fun to watch and even the story is merely incompetent and boring, not insultingly stupid. Those few things are not enough to save the film, but at least they kept me from hitting the bottle.
So yeah, not really worth seeing, unless you're a die-hard fan of either of the two main leads. And even then I wouldn't bother.
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