5.8/10
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Air America (1990)

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A young pilot finds himself recruited unwittingly into a covert and corrupt C.I.A. airlift organization operating in Vietnam War-era Laos.

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode

Writers:

Christopher Robbins (book), John Eskow (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Gene
Robert Downey Jr. ... Billy
Nancy Travis ... Corinne Landreaux
Ken Jenkins ... Major Donald Lemond
David Marshall Grant ... Rob Diehl
Lane Smith ... Senator Davenport
Art LaFleur ... Jack Neely (as Art La Fleur)
Ned Eisenberg ... Pirelli
Marshall Bell ... O.V.
David Bowe ... Saunders
Burt Kwouk ... General Lu Soong
Tim Thomerson ... Babo
Harvey Jason ... Nino
Sinjai Plengpanich Sinjai Plengpanich ... Gene's Wife (as Sinjai Hongthai)
Natta Nantatanti Natta Nantatanti ... Gene's Daughter
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Storyline

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 <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Few. The Proud. The Totally Insane. See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Lao

Release Date:

10 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Air America: locos por el peligro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,064,480, 12 August 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$31,053,601
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nancy Travis replaced Ally Sheedy in the role of Corinne Landroaux. See more »

Goofs

When Gene and Billy are being held by the 'Hillbilly' type tribesmen the dialogue is obviously dubbed due to the mouth movements not always corresponding to the heard dialogue. This is because the heavy rainfall will have made the location sound recording unusable so the scene would have had to have been looped in post production. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard Nixon: There are *no* American combat forces in Laos.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the R1 Special Edition DVD, all of the Vietnamese/Laosian translations between Gene and the locals are missing. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Spy Hard (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Free Ride
Written by Dan Hartman
Performed by Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer
See more »

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User Reviews

An action movie best played for laughs
28 January 2002 | by FlippitygibbitSee all my reviews

I actually thought this film improved with each viewing - some of the comic lines were lost first time around, with people speaking together, and rotor noise from the aircraft. Air America is probably a little too script-by-numbers, but only if you think about it too much - the key is to just enjoy the action and the comedy. I couldn't tell whether Mel Gibson's character was incredibly laid back, or if the actor just wasn't giving his all - but for me, the more interesting characters were the supporting cast anyway: David Marshall Grant as Rob Diehl and Art LaFleur as Jack Niely. There were a few too many pilots to pad all of the cast out, but the collective effort provided much of the humour. Robert Downey, Jnr. was perhaps the best out of the main cast, from cheesy 'eye in the sky' pilot ('the traffic is kinda sad, kinda bumsy-looking'), to Air America rookie, lost in a world of 'bar girls, squiggly writing on signs, and more bar girls'. Neither Gibson or Downey, Jnr. were particularly convincing as pilots, but luckily the planes (such as Pilatus Porters and Caribous) had enough character to pull off the airborne scenes. Downey, Jnr.'s character had a spectacular, if not slightly drawn out, crash-landing scene, slowly dismantling his aircraft as he slid along an old airstrip. The soundtrack was also a bonus, placing the film in time where the main characters were slightly anachronistic. Frank Sinatra's 'Come Fly With Me' saved the cliched ending with the same droll humour that was peppered throughout the rest of the movie. Overall, Air America is a film best watched with your brain switched to 'idle' - although the subject is serious, the film is best as pure entertainment.


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