Film #3: Air Force One


So I decided that I am on a Harrison Ford fix right now. As my Dad says, “you can’t go wrong with Harrison Ford.” I first saw Air Force One when I was a teenager, as with most movies in our household. I remember thinking that the movie was good, but at the same time quite brutal.

The film takes place on Air Force One, the President’s private airplane. Terrorists have devised a plan to get onto the plane and take hostages, demanding that their beloved General be released from prison. Chaos ensues and many are killed in the initial attack in the plane. The main bad guy, played by Gary Oldman, begins killing hostages to get what he wants.

In one situation, one of the hostages plead for her life just before Oldman’s character kills her. I remember seeing that and feeling so sorry for all the people on the plane, and feeling sad for the woman who was so needlessly killed. This was my little social worker brain in action years before I knew what to do with it.

This movie has sadly gotten easier to watch thanks to the years of desensitizing from things I’ve seen and experienced over the years. Nevertheless, I feel that it paints a very clear picture in what the human condition is capable of doing, both for evil and for good. Oldman’s character wanted very bad things and was willing to do these things for his country and ideals. He says in the film that he is able to kill and do these things by “taking out his morality and sense of conscience.” Harrison Ford’s character, a family man, throws caution to the wind and values honor above all else. He defends his family and those he loves without a second thought about his own safety…and he’s the President of the United States.

I love the contrast of morality in this film and the way that it plays out in diplomacy and negotiation. Not to mention the suspense of stealth tactics and sabotage. Air Force 1 was a blast to watch again.

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