|Copyright 1999 Stealth Fighter Productions
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 23 September 2001
- "Ironman" Mitchell - Everyone calls him "Colonel" and he is flying an Air Force plane, but he wears the uniform of a Navy Captain and falls under the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations). Arrgghhhh!
- Erin - Erika Eleniak! Has one purpose here and that is to stretch out some shirts for the male viewers. Oh, she is Mitchell's wife too, even though they are separated.
- J.P. - Mitchell's annoying daughter. Makes me wish I could go back in time and stress to her father that pulling out is much less effective than a condom.
- The President of the United States - Ernie Hudson! I'm just going to let that stand there all by itself.
- Admiral Peterson - Chief of Naval Operations who betrays America's secrets to a failed Nicaraguan arms merchant. Looks like somebody was asleep in the background investigation department again. Commits suicide.
- Menendez - Previously a Nicaraguan arms merchant. He has created an impressive little empire in Africa with all the materials and services needed to blackmail the world. Shot by Turner.
- Berg - Zeus Lister! Not very good at being a bodyguard (he was serving as such for Menendez), but a master at looking very large and very scary. Shot to death by Mitchell.
- Turner - Ice-T! Rough naval aviator with an axe to grind. Luckily his training as an A-6 pilot prepared him for the nuances of piloting the F-117. Turned into confetti by an air-to-air missile.
|This movie has issues. In fact, it might boast more errors and problems than any other military show I have ever seen, including JAG! I've been looking for a Navy lawyer who used to be with the Seals and is an ace pilot for years. No luck so far.
The production had a budget (of sorts), so why does it seem like every person working on the film lacked common sense? Chronicling every single thing wrong would take more time, patience, and skill than is available to yours truly. Let us just stick to the key points.
Bet that you didn't know the U.S. used attack aircraft to bomb cocaine fields in the war on drugs. Oh yes; A-6 Intruders dropping precision ordinance on remote Nicaraguan fields. Mitchell and Turner are piloting separate jets on their latest mission, dodging SAMs, ZSU-23s, and small arms fire, when the latter draws a pistol and shoots his bombardier/navigator. Within moments a missile destroys the traitor's A-6 and Mitchell's aircraft takes a hit, killing the bombardier/navigator. Obviously a bad night to be the pilot's right-hand man, but I digress. "Ironman" decides to complete the mission by himself and steers his jet straight into footage raped from "Flight of the Intruder." Remember when they bombed the parking lot full of SAMs? Yes, that part.
In the present (thank goodness for that "Present Day" notation) a group of commandos infiltrate a base. Selecting a time when the guard shack has mounted only inept sentries, they gain access and steal a Stealth Fighter. Menendez is pleased upon learning that his little shopping trip has been successful and directs that part two of the plan be executed: commandeering a secret attack satellite! The "Star Wars" souvenir is put to use blasting the SSN Norway (a fictional Los Angeles class attack sub) with an EMP pulse. Most of the electronics are fried and the stricken vessel settles onto the sea floor.
How did the bad guys know exactly where the submarine was? Why were only specific systems damaged by the pulse? Perhaps most importantly: why create a fake SSN? Just go ahead and call it the SSN Albany; the crew would probably get a kick out of the novelty. Wait a minute, considering the quality of this film, they may have made the correct decision. Never annoy people who can launch cruise missiles...
Mitchell spent the years after Nicaragua flying F-117 Nighthawks often enough to ruin his marriage. While picking up J.P. for an afternoon of flying he confronts Erin, asking for permission to come aboard the good ship "Nuclear Family" again. She tearfully remembers the angst of being married to a fighter pilot. Worrying about him being killed, spending months alone with only Mr. Duracell to keep her company, friends calling up and yelling "Maverick!" into the phone - that sort of thing. Hearing that he has applied for a desk job helps defuse the situation; she agrees to see how things work out if he comes to Parent's Day at school.
Faced with a madman controlling Thanatos (ah good, a satellite named in honor of Death) and Ice-T using the Stealth Fighter to drop bombs on frivolous targets, the President decides to send in elite troops. A qualified pilot is needed to fly the aircraft out once the target is secured; Mitchell is tapped for the job. Launching from the U.S.S. Coral Sea (errrr... ...okay, whatever), via helicopter, the team drops near their objective and sneaks ashore. Too bad for them that the arms dealer was warned of the attack by a mysterious caller. Many of the Special Forces bubbas are killed while clumped up like milling cattle on a bridge. I was yelling "Dispersion!" at them for several moments before the ambush, but the fools wouldn't listen.
The huge base has plenty of hiding places and the protagonist, still alive despite best efforts, holes up to watch for his chance. Stateside, the President and his staff are sweating bullets over Menendez's response to the failed assault. They need not have worried: Ice-T takes off and fires a missile/torpedo that destroys the SSN Norway. Between the uncanny fuel efficiency displayed (he stole the F-117 in the Philippines, then flew it to Angola) and its unreleased antisubmarine capabilities, that aircraft is amazing.
Drama plays out between Menendez and Turner, resulting in President Ernie Hudson having a new madman to bargain with. Now the evil aviator wants ten billion dollars in ransom or he will drop nuclear bombs on the continental United States. In the hanger Mitchell is seconds away from finally stealing the Stealth Fighter when new orders arrive: find the computer uplink and destroy Thanatos via remote commands. He tosses a "GPS homing beacon" into the cockpit and scrambles to comply with the latest directive. Guess who walks him through the codes to self-destruct the satellite. No, come on, guess. Wrong! It's the Air Force Chief of Staff! Mwahahahaha!
His plans are dashed, so Ice-T decides revenge is best served hot. As in a fusion device obliterating Washington. The hero bursts into the hanger as Turner is climbing into the cockpit and levels his automatic weapon on the scoundrel. Then he drops the firearm and challenges him to a few rounds of unarmed combat. Look, obeying a code of honor is great, but not when innocent civilians could be turned into plasma if you lose. That being said, he loses and Turner takes off in the Stealth.
Mitchell climbs into a nearby F-15 with the aid of a large stepladder. Next time we see the jet it has transformed into an F-16 Fighting Falcon. I understand that all the aircraft footage was spliced from various government releases; maybe even some from the Discovery Channel's "Wings" program. Would the people making this movie please make up their friggin' minds which character is flying what fighter?
I'm pretty certain that most Nighthawk pilots would cringe at the idea of going up against a real fighter like the Falcon. The F-117 is meant as an attack aircraft, not a dogfighter. Its standard armament is two laser-guided bombs with no air-to-air capability at all (unless you somehow drop a bomb on the other plane). The F-16 has a 20mm cannon and can carry a plethora of missiles. Do you see where this is going? The writer and director did not. The good guy misses with a missile fired at close range, prompting Turner to gloat over his impotence. That's the last straw; Mitchell invokes some sort of black magic (the script) and locks on to the GPS beacon he stashed in the cockpit. Blam! No more Turner.
So many errors crop up during this movie that I was tempted to believe they were intentional. Could they have been inserted to generate entertainment value, in the same vein as Plan 9 from Outer Space? Just in case, let me give you a clue: being wrong about everything is not funny. It's tiresome. Having a musical score that was only fifty seconds long, in a movie almost ninety minutes in length, didn't help things.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- A-6 Intruders have roomy cockpits with several feet of storage space behind the seats.
- Stealth Fighters are stored on the same lot as Piper and Cessna aircraft.
- The President of the United States goes to meetings at the Pentagon when called.
- Bright yellow stopwatches are actually GPS homing devices.
- Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of respiration.
- Sucking chest wounds are painful, but not serious.
- F-117s are used in antisubmarine warfare.
- Navy admirals are privy to the access codes for top-secret satellites.
- Marines serve as pages and secretaries in the White House.
- Some forms of martial arts involve the use of a ratchet.
- 9 mins - Mission controllers must get tired of that old "Say again, you are breaking up." crap.
- 11 mins - Hehehehe! Look at that door behind Mitchell! It is a normal door, like you would find in a house, and not a hatch!
- 26 mins - This room is shaped suspiciously like the inside of that submarine.
- 31 mins - Why is the smoke dispenser on?
- 40 mins - He fired what appeared to be an air-to-air missile and did that much damage to a ground target? Um, wow.
- 44 mins - Storing torpedoes in the same room as your nuclear reactor seems like a bad idea...
- 56 mins - You do not use a night vision monocular like that! The eye takes time to adjust!
- 58 mins - Small world huh?
- 69 mins - Just get in the plane you stupid fool! Hiding the bodies makes no sense at all!
- 80 mins - That would be two F-117s flying together, not the F-117 and F-16 we have been watching.
- Peterson: "Those planes belong to the taxpayers and not Ryan 'Ironman' Mitchell!"
- Menendez: "If Thanatos receives any commands without my frequency codes she will automatically go into attack mode and fire at preprogrammed targets. So, hack away gentlemen, at your own risk."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Turner: "How's your girl by the way, that sexy thang? She still yelling out my name when you do it?" |
Mitchell: "Only when I'm doing it wrong."
Control: "All right ladies, the pajama party's over. You got a job to do; do it."
||The President: "Are you trying to tell me that this satellite is a relic of the 'Star Wars' project?" |
Secretary: "Sir, Thanatos is the 'Star Wars' project."
||Turner: "Now, do you want me to fly or should I start looking for another employer?" |
Menendez: "If you can find another employer with a stolen Stealth Fighter in his garage. Be my guest."
||Turner: "Okay Mr. President, we've got a new deal on the table. You will wire ten billion dollars to my accounts in the Bahamas. That's billion with a 'B.' I'll fax you the information. You can burn that little list of psychopaths that Menendez told you to set free!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Mitchell (the F-16) is chasing Turner (the F-117) and trying his best to shoot down the lumbering Stealth Fighter. Why he does not switch to cannons is beyond me.
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