A scientist who has created a super helicopter has defected to Libya and taken the machine with him. A secretive government agency hires an ex-Vietnam War pilot to go to Libya, steal the chopper and bring it back.
The series has been revamped with an all new cast: St. John, the brother whom Stringfellow Hawke had been looking for during the original series, has finally been found and is now the new ... See full summary »
Barry Van Dyke,
Geraint Wyn Davies,
Airwolf is a high tech helicopter created by a government agency called "THE FIRM". The scientist who created it, is also a bit deranged, he steals it and takes it to Libya. Deputy Director Michael Colesmith Briggs, codenamed Archangel, who oversaw the Airwolf project has to try and get it back. Stringfellow Hawke, the only other man other than the creator who knows how to fly Airwolf, is recruited by Archangel to go to Libya to try and get it back. Only problem is that Hawke is a bit of a loner and an introvert, and his fee for doing this job is that THE FIRM must locate his brother, who is MISSING IN ACTION in Vietnem, dead or alive.Written by
Oh, my. When I was a kid I couldn't miss a week of this series, and this is the movie that started it all. It really has a decent plot, given the times it was made in. In 1984, the idea of a third world nation like Libya getting something nasty from a shadowy mercenary type was very real. In 1982, Israel had taken out an Iraqi nuclear reactor that Saddam Hussein had bought from contacts in Europe. In 1982, also, the Falklands war saw the British running into a lot of trouble with Exocet missiles hitting their destroyers.
In "Airwolf," one scene which took a lot of guts to do features an attack by the hijacked helicopter launched against a destroyer. The idea of nasty weapons getting to nations that might mean ill to people has only become more powerful. In 1987, three years after the television movie aired, a U.S. Frigate, the Stark, was "accidentally" hit for real by an Iraqi fighter in the Persian Gulf.
So, in that context, and with the height of the Cold War, the idea of powerful organizations like "The Firm" that Moffet was working for and which our two main pilot good guys get involved with, made for some powerful stuff. The performances only added to the power of it, especially for a kid like myself, with Jan-Michael Vincent doing a great job as the brooding, reluctant hero, and Ernest Borgnine (Who I had only seen doing comedy in reruns of "McHale's Navy" at the time) doing incredible work as well. This series really was a nice thing for him, and boy did he deserve the chance to do something like this. Finally, who could forget Alex Cord as Archangel, all in white except for the black lens in his glasses over his injured eye? White limousines, a white helicopter of his own, and beautiful female aides dressed in white, and the cane he walked with because of his injuries. Definitely a chilling figure in his own right. Man, this was an awesome show for a kid in 1984. Also, it makes points about the duties of people to what is right, the question of when the lines of the fight for good cross with the desire for power, and all the classic stuff. Bellisario came through with this and "Magnum, P.I." about the same time, I believe, which was quite good for him. Everyone associated with this project turned in good work - including the folks who designed the fold-out cannons on Airwolf's winglets, which were impressive in how they folded out and so forth. - Vincent was awesome in the melancholy and quiet scenes where he was just playing his cello by the lake or hanging out and thinking. The show topped this all off with one of the best scores of the 1980s. Definitely a winner. The toppings are all there, but underneath, with the writing, directing, and the performances, the substance is there in force. Great, great show.
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