Air America (1990) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

Air America (1990) Directed by Roger Spottiswoode. With Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr., Lane Smith and Nancy Travis.

unnamed

Adapted from a book by Christopher Robbins, Air America is a light-hearted action-comedy set during the Vietnam war, starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr as pilots recruited by the CIA, dropping supplies to the villagers of Laos.

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode (a veteran of middling action-comedies), the film is breezy, yet wholly insubstantial. A forgettable Friday-night-rental with attractive leads and exotic locations – helped along by a toe-tapping soundtrack featuring a host of hits from the Rolling Stones to Frank Sinatra. It aims to conjure some of the brio of Good Morning Vietnam, but fails to take-off beyond the appeal of the aerial photography (Roger Deakins no less) and the winsome pull of its two leading men.

Centrally, there is a muddled plot device about corruption and political backhanders, but its hard to tune-in to its frequency, amid a feeling of its token existence as something to ‘boo-hiss’.  The political characters in the film are straight out of a comic book. The best example is Lane Smith’s Senator Davenport – a bumbling cartoon character, complete with a goofy look that’s only a hairs breadth away from yelling “Doh!”.

With Gibson in his prime and a puppy-dog Downey Jr. snapping at his heels, Air America is a two-pronged charm offensive, designed to get by on star power. Some of the time it does, but with a plot that never kicks out of auto-pilot, there’s only so far that playful banter can take you. 2.5/5

Advertisements

About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
This entry was posted in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Air America (1990) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. Paul S says:

    Gibson and Downey Jr. are simply money here. I like both actors, so maybe I’m biased, but this is a cinematic duo that could, and should have made more films together.

  2. filmfunkel says:

    There are some films whose description immediately takes me to the pitching session of some Hollywood exec.

    “A light-hearted action-comedy set during the Vietnam war, starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr as pilots recruited by the CIA, dropping supplies to the villagers of Laos.”

    And the exec saying” Yeah, let’s do it.”… it brings a smile to my face every time. : D

    • garethrhodes says:

      It’s scary, we think the same thoughts. I often think of these scenarios, with the execs getting all excited at a pitching session. Damn, who gets to actually DO that job!? 🙂

      • Paul S says:

        It’s a shame the execs didn’t pitch a beautiful, blunt-talking red-headed Nicole Kidman in place of Nancy Travis.

      • filmfunkel says:

        Now I’m curious as to what the success rate of a Hollywood script pitcher is.

        Nicole instead of Nancy?… I like the way we’re all thinking here. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s