Air America

Tagline : The few. The proud. The totally insane.

Runtime : 112 mins

Genre : Action Adventure Comedy Drama

Vote Rating : 5.8/10

Budget : 35 million $ USD

Revenue : 57.7 million $ USD

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : 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.

Cast Members

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When "Billy" (Robert Downey Jr.) loses his pilot's licence after a lively misdemeanour, he finds himself working in war-torn Laos with the team at "Air America". This is a CIA-backed operation consisting of a disparate bunch of pilots whose job it is to fly in supplies to local villages. It's there that he meets "Gene" (Mel Gibson) and also where he realises that not only is it pretty dangerous out there, but that his paymasters are into the narcotics trade in quite a big way and, to make matters even more dodgy - one of his colleagues goes in for some illicit gun-running too. It does move along quickly enough, but the whole thing has a rather comic book feel to it. The writing is poor, the themes repeat themselves once too often and there is little chemistry from anyone on screen as the adventures rather lamely bumble along accompanied by a medicare AOR-style soundtrack. To be fair, it looks like Gibson is having some fun and it's always nice to see Burt Kwouk demonstrating just how little versatility he had as an actor - always looking perplexed, but otherwise all this is missing is Charlie Sheen.

I have a special love for this film, if for no other reason that the bulk of my college experience was spent on the cold war, the alphabet soup of PBSUCCESS, MKULTRA, JMWAVE, PAPERCLIP, COLDFEET, MKOFTEN, The Phoenix Program, ARTICHOKE, and my favorite (just because of how bad it sounds) Midnight Climax. So a comedy about Air America was absolutely priceless. And, given that I am not one of those history nuts that cares about historical accuracy I can still sit back and enjoy something like this. I mean, honestly, so long as it's not a complete and total re-write... Hollywood can take it's liberties and edit what happened for drama, because, really, it just means that now people have heard of Air America. And, honestly, when you choose to study the Cold War, people tend to think you're a conspiracy nut when you mention things like this, PBSUCCESS, Russians assassinating people with radiation poisoning and umbrella guns... ... So when something like this comes along, it's like yes... now people won't think I'm as crazy as Alex Jones. And, you know, it features a song from the Seeds (and any real punk fan is going to drool over that) along with one of the better, if down played, soundtracks from the Vietnam Era. So it certainly has the music win. And it's Gibson kind of hamming it up and doing a slightly saner version of his Lethal Weapon self... if oddly pacifistic. And RDJR, fresh out of rehab, proving to the world that he is actually capable of being a great actor when he is sober. What you have is kind of an action movie without a lot of violence, set in the middle of a war zone, and based off of one of our intelligence black eyes in a way that doesn't take it too seriously, isn't heavy-handed or pretentious, masks any preachiness in a fun story, and really gets the point across without having to be Alan Alda at his worst. Plus, it's a movie about skullduggery that doesn't resort to the Mission:Impossible/James Bond high action tropes. So, in a way, it's kind of a spy movie done right and... turned into a comedy.

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