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A fun, tense, and exciting action/thriller with an excellent ensemble cast,
headed by Kurt Russell and including Halle Berry, David Suchet, and John
Even Steven Seagal does a creditable job, mainly because this isn't a "Steven Seagal movie." His supporting role permits him to do what he does best (which isn't acting). He doesn't have to pretend to be witty, there's none of that awful smirking he does in a vain attempt to show emotion, the camera doesn't caress his body, and there's not one speech about how gol-dang *good* his character is. He even manages to enunciate his lines clearly!
The plot might have seemed a little far-fetched when the movie was released, but not anymore.
I'm not even much of an action film fan, but this one is really a lot of fun.
I saw this in 1996 and thought it was extremely entertaining--an action movie with emphasis on suspense over shoot-em-up thrillers and explosions. Seeing it again, after the events in the past 4 years, is a different experience. Some of the fictional dialog has actually been quoted by fanatics in the news. I had the same reaction with Black Sunday with Robert Shaw. A movie meant as pure escapism is now more like "what if." Executive Decision does ask you to suspend disbelief several times, especially near the end. I would rank it up with Air Force One, which came out a year later and delivers the same type of "suspense over explosions" entertainment. And this film deserves extra kudos for making the ones that save the world a bit on the "misfit" side (Oliver Platt, John Leguizamo, Joe Morton, BD Wong, and yes, even Kurt Russell). Another nice slimy role for late character actor JT Walsh. And David Suchet makes a scary villain. Like the best villains (Alan Rickman from Die Hard comes to mind), he can be charming and terrifying at the same time.
Slam-bang thriller is an intense, pulse-pounding thrill ride from beginning to end. Russell stars as a smart but inexperienced intelligence analyst who's given the task of a lifetime when he, along with a group of rugged Special Forces commandos, must board an American 747 in midair after it's hijacked by ruthless international terrorists. It's a race against time as they must not only ensure the safety of all the passengers, but retake the plane before it can reach the U.S. eastern seaboard. Swift direction, exciting, skillful action sequences, endless suspense, and rock solid performances make this wild ride of a movie a definite must for action fans. ***
The film concerns a transatlantic flight, hi-jacked between Athens and
The hijackers are a group of heavily armored suicide fanatical terrorists...
Their motivation is supposedly to free a feared and wanted terrorist, recently handed over to US authorities, arrested, and taken to a warship in the Mediterranean...
The President has two options: to let the passenger fleet proceed to the United States or destroy it before it gets there along with hundreds of passengers...
Steven Seagal is the commando leader who recognizes the threat, but proposes to use a modified Stealth fighter especially designed for mid-air crew transfers, and thus allow his elite anti-terrorist unit to sneak the Boeing 747, localize and eventually disarm the bomb, and overtake the hijackers...
Kurt Russell is the Pentagon intelligence analyst, who believes that the hijacking is just a ruse, that the deadly nerve toxin is on board, and that the terrorists are planning to use it and the airplane as 'a sort of poor man's atomic bomb, to be detonated over Washington..'
Halle Berry is the brave helpful stewardess who understood the message of the striking team... She has to identify for them, the passenger who is in control of the bomb...
David Suchet is the terrorist who can endanger us all! He is Jaffa's deputy director, Nagi Hassan fanatically driven by hatred and violence... This nasty man seizes control of the air carrier and plans to kill everyone on board...
Oliver Platt is the aerospace engineer, who can isolate the bomb's power sources only if he could control his nerves...
Joe Morton is the bomb disposal expert who guides Platt through the disabling of the bomb...
J. T. Walsh is the ambitious senator who wants to be seen as the savior of the hostages, an image that won't hurt him in the presidential elections...
John Leguizamo (Seagal's second in command..) hopes for a good movie on board...
Thanks to a solid cast and plenty of action and suspense, Stuart Baird's 'Executive Decision' could be a timely reminder to one deceptively simple question: How can we stop hijackers from using planes as weapons?
I am curious to know how many Steven Seagal fans walked out of the
theater after the first twenty minutes demanding their money back. It
is a good thing that Exectutive Decision does not direct its attention
towards Seagal. Instead it chooses to focus on suspense and thrills
which is exactly what it offers. It is slow and ominous, even
claustrophobic at times. The plot stays consistent, never getting too
thick, and it keeps you focused, Which is good enough for me.
It will be hard to watch Executive Decision today and not think about 9/11. Islamic terrorists from Algeria highjack a 747 flying from Athens to D.C. they have loaded a nuclear weapon on board, and they are giving the US government until landing time to free one of the leading Islamic terrorist they have in custody, or they blow Washington. A small team of soldiers are sent out in a small aircraft, which will latch on to the jet and allow them to board in secret. With them is intelligence consultant David Grant, who knows that there is a bomb on board and what it is capable of. confined to the labyrinth of tiny corridors and storage cabins, our heroes have only a few hours, to find the bomb, defuse it and take out the terrorists, without being seen.
This is the directorial debut for Oscar nominated editor Stuart Baird, and he does a sensational job of crafting tension. It is not until the climactic twenty minutes where Executive Decision lets out all its energy. Baird really takes his time, and just occasionally it feels like the story could use a little tightening, but not too much.
The movie is not meant to be mind enriching, but in a way it does make you realize, how much we took freedom and safety for granted, before 9/11 occurred. If that disturbs you, than perhaps you should not see this movie. Anyone else who wants to be thrilled and on the edge of their seat should watch this one for sure
Most of this movie is simply one extremely long suspense scene as a
team of Americans try to board a passenger jet, disarm a bomb and
capture terrorists. After a 10-15 minute opening to set the story up,
the rest of it (two hours) is the constant suspense of whether the
mission will succeed and what happens along the way. With that much
tension for so, the movie would have been more effective had it been
cut 15-20 minutes.
However, it was never boring. It was far-fetched, however, but many action movies are just that, and this story wasn't stupid, by any means. I expected such with Kurt Russell and Steven Segal in it, but those two were much more subdued than usual.
Oliver Platt, Halle Barry, John Leguizamo and Joe Morton rounded out a very diverse and solid cast. This is one of those films that really grabs you the first time you see it, but after that, loses its appeal since the suspense is over. Definitely recommended for those who like to sit on the edge of their seat and be entertained.
I am usually very picky about films and rarely watch action movies that
don't have a nostalgic value but somehow I tuned into this one and I
couldn't take my eyes off it. We're dealing with a flight hi-jacking
and the situation has been seen before, but the way this story is told
surprised me in a positive way.
It's trying to be realistic, and succeeds! Credits to the screenwriters for writing a story that everyone thinks they've seen before and still keeping the intensity throughout the film. Good acting from Kurt Russel, Oliver Blatt and especially John Leguizamp. This is an action-movie well worth watching. My rating: 7/10
Like my review of "Air Force One", the counterpart of this movie which
came out the following year, this movie takes on a whole new element in
the post 9/11 world. When released, a terrorist taking control of an
airplane and using it against American Citezens as a bomb seemed the
stuff Hollywood would make up and produce. After those shocking events,
however, the movie takes on a quality of realism that it didn't before,
and unlike the aforementioned "Air Force One", is superior in many
First off, the cast: Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, and the star-to-be Halle Berry star. Russell proves himself as a versatile Character Actor. Afterall, his previous role was that of a Special Operations Soldier in the Sci-Fi hit "Stargate", and in this movie he plays an intelligence analyst whom Special Operations Soldiers despise, and pulls it off well. Seagal completely convinces you he is the Soldiers Soldier that he is supposed to be. And Halle Berry, well, she deserves that Oscar she later won, and her abilities are showcased here. She was not the star then that she is today, and this is perhaps one of her many breakout appearances.
Second, all branches of the Armed Forces (save the Marine Corps) have a chance to shine in this movie. It shows a true devotion among the men who serve the United States. The Special Ops guys are Army, the delivery pilot is Air Force and the Tomcat Pilots are Naval Aviators along the lines of Maverick from "Top Gun".
In conclusion, this is a good movie that is under-rated, and in the wake of 9/11, seems that much more real.
I enjoyed this one. Sure there were some implausible things: the speed of
the counter-action, the strange fact that a complete change of the
aerodynamics of a stealth bomber seems to cause zero disturbance... But all
in all it was well within bearable limits. Don't expect to see a 100%
realistic plot in a movie that is supposed to contain heros! In reality,
they usually get shot or explode before they have the chance to become one
Critical Decisions has a more than adequate mix of suspense, better-than-horrible acting, plot twists and mild humor to relieve the tension. Whereas a lot of movies in the same genre totally screw up one or more of those aspects. I'm thinking about the terribly balanced "humor" in The Rock, for example. Killing all tension and involvement..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a great action film, that's quite effective, and rather tense, with a pretty solid story, and excellent performances!. All the characters are cool, and the only beef I really had with it was it was a tad overlong, plus Kurt Russell is simply amazing in this!. It's pretty well made and written, and the finale is especially tense, plus it was surprisingly unpredictable throughout. I will admit I disappointed that Steven Seagal got killed off right away, however I give him a lot of credit for taking this type of role, and Robert Apisa played a very good villain here and was menacing, plus it has quite a few shocking moments as well. All the characters are very likable, and Halle Berry has a small but cool role here, plus it has a decent amount of violence too. I was quite pleased with the ending, and a lot of the tense scenes were when Oliver Platt(Cahill) and Joe Morton("Cappy") are trying to stop the bombs, plus I would have loved seeing Russell and Seagal work as a team throughout the film. This is a great action film, that's quite effective, and rather tense, with a pretty solid story and excellent performances, I highly recommend this one!. The Direction is great!. Stuart Baird does a great! job here, with very good camera work, solid angles and just keeping the film at a very fast pace. The Acting is excellent!. Kurt Russell is amazing as always and is amazing here, he is extremely likable, funny, makes a very effective action hero, brought life and humor to his potentially boring character, and just did an amazing job overall! (Russell rules!!!!). Steven Seagal is very effective in his role, but we didn't get much time to know him because he gets killed off pretty quickly sadly, however I give him credit for taking this type of role, just wished he stayed alive (Seagal Rules!!!!!!!). Halle Berry is very good in her role here, she was charming, and made her part look bigger then it actually was, she's also gorgeous. John Leguizamo is pretty good here actually, he convinced me and was likable enough I rather dug him. Oliver Platt is great in his role, I'm not usually a big fan but he was great here. Joe Morton is great as the bomb specialist, I really liked him. Robert Apisa is excellent as the main villain, he was quite menacing, you will really hate him. Rest of the cast do fine. Overall I highly recommend this one!. ***1/2 out of 5
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