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Broken Arrow
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Reviews & Ratings for
Broken Arrow More at IMDbPro »

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43 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Bad In A Good Way!

8/10
Author: refinedsugar from Nova Scotia, Canada
8 March 2001

Usually I'm the first person to label this sort of movie. Look at it, you'd think it was bad. It's got the usual assortment of action movie clichés and conventions. The John Woo directed action scenes stretch over the top at times, there's the mentally unstable talkative nemesis and yes even one of those bombs that graces us with a digital readout. All prerequisites for movies of this type and saying all that I'd usually be complaining by now. Yet for one reason I can't. This movie entertained me. It finds a way to come together in a really enjoyably manner and I'm happy with what I got. I can't bad mouth it.

Nothing got in my way of everlasting enjoyment of seeing people die, bombs going off and the baritone guitar instrumental. It just all clicks from the get-go. If your reading this you don't need me to recycle the plot summary. It's of a trivial nature. Good action, decent cast and a fun atmosphere go a long way with Travolta ultimately holding it all together. He plays his role over-the-top and delivers some fantastic lines. It doesn't hurt that him and Slater tango well neither. If Travolta attempted this movie now instead of when he did - it wouldn't work. He's done too many goody-goody roles to come back down to this. Laws of nature will not allow him to make another good movie where he plays a bad guy. Chances are anyone else than Travolta in Broken Arrow and you'd be reading a completely different review right now too. A guilty pleasure if there ever was one.

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42 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Good mindless fun

6/10
Author: goya-4 from PA
3 September 2000

John Travolta stars in this mindless thriller in which he steals a nuclear weapon and its up to Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis to save the world.. Overall a good action flick with a leave your brain at home plot..Travolta goes slightly over the top with his character but is still good..Slater is ok and Mathis does what she can with what little the script gives her.. on a scale of one to ten... 6

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31 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Engaging waste of time.

6/10
Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
24 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are so many stupid action movies out there -- mind-numbing, explosion-filled, cartoonish, slow-motion-bodies-falling, gore, ugly guns, special f/x, mismatched heroic couple of mixed sex, wisecracking villain -- and I've SEEN so many that I'm beginning to be able to tell the difference between them.

This is one of the better ones. The plot has John Travolta as the smiling treacherous heavy, and Christian Slater as the true-blue captain in the USAF out to spoil Travolta's plot to blow up Denver with a kidnapped nuclear device. There is a cute red head thrown fortuitously together with Slater. She has nice plump lips, big blue eyes, and the tightly tailored slacks of a Park Ranger. Very nice. We watch her from below as she climbs the ladder on the side of a boxcar. There's no reason for her to be IN the movie except to have her climb boxcars, roll down sandy hills, and so on.

But then there's no particular reason for ANYTHING to be in the movie. What I mean is that if you found it necessary to leave the room for a minute or two -- a knock on the door, a tug on the trigonal, whatever -- you would find that you hand't missed much when you returned. None of the characters changes in any way. There is no dialogue worth remembering. There are some unusual special effects but if you've missed one example it's okay because another is right around the corner. I particularly enjoy the scene in which the exploding bomb takes out the helicopter.

I've sat through this thing three times and I am now convinced it has turned the higher reasoning centers of my brain into tofu. That's why I genuinely like it. I like it for Travolta's toothy reptilian grin, for Slater's imitation of Jack Nicholson, for the ripoffs from "Indiana Jones," for the gorgeous Utah scenery, for the rocketing diesel train, Lake Powell, the redhead climbing the ladder, the fist fights, the bouncing Humvees, the civilian who proudly announces he used to be a lieutenant in the ROTC at Yale, the redhead climbing the ladder, the bodies of people who tumble in slow motion towards the camera as a fireball explodes behind them (three times), the redhead climbing the ladder.

I just like it, that's all. Anybody up for some sesame oil?

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27 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Far-fetched but entertaining

Author: Brian W. Fairbanks (brianwfairbanks@yahoo.com) from United States
28 March 1999

In his "TV Movies and Video Guide," Leonard Maltin asks, "Why was this movie made?" The answer is simple: To entertain the people. I was certainly entertained by this far-fetched action thriller, due in no small part to John Woo's imaginative direction of the action sequences. John Travolta overdoes the psycho routine, hamming it up when some restraint would have made for a more believable performance, but his considerable charm sees him through. Christian Slater, an actor who hasn't impressed me as anything more than a Jack Nicholson wannabe, makes a surprisingly commendable hero. This movie is junk food, of course, but it's very tasty indeed.

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34 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Classic John Woo!

8/10
Author: el_nickster from Washington, DC USA
18 November 2002



If you want an action film in which the hero has a personality, and the bad guy has an even better personality, take a look at Broken Arrow. John Woo's choreographed action is not as dramatic as the Matrix-clone films that are so common today. He is great at creating interesting relationships between heroes and villains, and this film is a good example.

John Travolta is terrific. Christian Slater breaks typecast by playing a nice, sane soldier doing his duty. The love interest isn't an idiotic supermodel playing a nuclear scientist or something, but a park ranger, also doing her duty. She is cute, earthy, and actually believable.

If you want a film that will repeat every aspect of every other military adventure film you have ever seen, you will be disappointed. If dialog bores you, skip this film. If you like action movies filmed entirely in parking garages and spooky allies, then you will not appreciate the settings in this film in America's majestic West.

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23 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Under-Rated Action Flick

Author: tfrizzell from United States
5 September 2000

"Broken Arrow" is a good action film about a Stealth pilot (John Travolta) who steals nuclear weapons one night during a practice mission. His goal is to sell the weapons back to the United States government by blackmailing them. Old partner Christian Slater is willing to stop Travolta at all costs with the help of ranger Samantha Mathis. Howie Long makes an impressive film debut as Travolta's evil henchman. The screenplay is smart enough to work and the direction is fast and furious. A film that is about as good as it can be. 4 stars out of 5.

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Dumb But What Did You Expect ?

7/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
4 May 2005

Like nearly every other in this genre BROKEN ARROW is dumb with a capital DUM . It suffers from a myriad of plot holes and factual errors that anyone who has surfed the net looking through sites dedicated to the military will be able to spot at once . One early example is when the pilots eject and control have no idea to their fate . It's a well known fact that pilot suits contain a homing beacon so pilots who eject on missions can be instantly traced

We as an audience are supposed to forgive this ignorance and this audience member found it very easy to . Yeah it's a Hollywood movie from the 1990s so we're treated to very unlikely plot twists in a movie where the good guy and an innocent woman just doing her job have to stop bad guys so get ready for firefights , explosions and the obligatory scene of a countdown

BROKEN ARROW might not be a classic action adventure movie ( It's a little too formuliac ) but it's better than most from the 1990s . Travolta purposely does an impression of Tom Cruise except he's a bad ass and Christian Slater may seem an unlikely action hero but he's far more convincing than Steven Seagal or even Keanu Reeves . John Woo directs in a workman like manner and though it's not his best movie Woo does treat us to some spectacular and grisly deaths

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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

John Woo-light

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
17 October 2001

John Woo's continued attempt to translate his foreign success into Hollywood gold sees him take on bigger stars than Van Damme in Christian Slater and the resurrected star of Travolta. Slater and Travolta play pilots testing a new bomber, when one of them decides to steal the missiles on board the other must begin a personal fight to stop him.

As with Hard Target this is a solid enough action movie but it really could have been made by anyone, Woo's style only really comes through in a few scenes (the birds eye view of the opening boxing match, double handed gun play). This is a shame because the action scenes only occasionally get better than average.

The plot is weak and relies a lot on coincident and luck to keep things moving. This is quite insulting to an audience because it just shows that the script writers couldn't fix the plot as a workable story and decided to try and get this past. Travolta overplays the villain well, but perhaps overdoes the ticks and the madness a bit too much to be believable. Slater clearly wants to be like Keanu was in Speed but doesn't convince as an action hero, Mathis is cute but that doesn't make her performance good - she pretty much a non-entity and doesn't really have much chemistry with Slater.

Again a solid action movie that is OK for a Saturday night, but with the stars, the budget and a director of this calibre you can't help but feel this was a missed opportunity.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Straight out of the "Cinema Merde" movement.

1/10
Author: AlecBaldwin from United States
24 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What a pointless piece of crap. A film whose dialog is comprised exclusively of "tag-lines". Acting as nuanced as that which might be found on an infomercial. A plot as contrived and preposterous as any one might find in a rejected RoadRunner cartoon script.

This film has it all, culminating in a death scene as silly as you'll ever see. The plot involves the theft of a set of nuclear weapons which Christian Slater is trained "to disable". These nuclear weapons have a keypad you can set for thirty minutes. Can you, dear reader, explain to me the rationale for such a feature on a nuclear warhead? This film's plot devices come from a world where physics and logic have not yet been invented.

This film does make you think.

It's horrible.

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

John Woo hones his craft here in America

9/10
Author: twolanebl from Michigan
2 July 2002

John Woo, after his many Hong Kong efforts, came to America and made Hard Target (1993), which due to studio interference and bad taking of direction by Jean Claude Van Damme, wasn't as good as it could have been. Woo got a bad reputation due to his conflicts with both the MPAA and Universal, and it took him awhile to get this one off of the ground. Woo had never worked with special effects, so he was treading into new territory. Luckily, he got two great leads, Christian Slater (soon to be in Windtalkers), and John Travolta (Face/Off). They take his direction well, and each gives a good performance. As the traditional villain's henchman, which I like to call Indestructable Villain Sidekick, Howie Long gives a good performance, and dies a good death too. I never appreciated this movie that much until watching it tonight, and I realized, this is probably the most action-packed movie in a long time. It takes only about 6 minutes to get going, and then, boom! boom! boom! Action sequence after the other, no let-down in between. This movie has plently of shootouts, explosions, and great innovative twists (kicking the rear blade of a helicopter to knock a gun out of one's hand) to make a action movie good. John Woo's cinematography, the great shared moments (the 20 dollar bill and whatnot) are what makes this one a great action movie. Another thing that makes this flick great is that it gave Woo the power to get Face/Off, his best Hollywood outing, the greenlight. I'm looking forward to Windtalkers and love all of Woo's movies.

9 outta 10.

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