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1997, dir. Wolfgang Petersen
124 min. Rated R.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Glenn Close, William H. Macy, Jurgen Prochnow.

Review by Chad J. Shonk

The following is a transcript from a story meeting held by the producers of AIR FORCE ONE sometime in mid-1996. The names have been changed to protect the uninspired. Out of respect for the artform, everything else has remained the same.

EXEC1: Thank you for coming, gentlemen. This is our sixth annual Big Ass Summer Blockbuster Meeting. As you know, the summer of '97 is going to be a hot one. Spielberg's got that new dinosaur movie coming out. Who would have pegged Jeff Goldblum as an action hero?

EXEC2: No shit. Judaism's first superhero.

EXEC3: He's the "Last Action Hebrew".

All Laugh.


EXEC1: Okay, like I was saying, LOST WORLD comes out Memorial Day, so we want to aim for later summer, kind of like the end of July or something. Now, is anybody worried about SPEED 2?


EXEC1: I didn't think so. Now sometime in June we have this MEN IN BLACK thing. Who's putting that out again?

EXEC2: Amblin.

EXEC1: Damnit! Speilberg again?;

EXEC2: Yes sir.

EXEC1: Well, that automatically qualifies it as a big hit. A buddy movie with an older white cop and a younger black one. Kind of like LETHAL WEAPON in reverse.

EXEC3: Richard Donner's a pussy. All Laugh.

EXEC1: I wish we coulda thought of that one. Buddy movies make big money. Are jews just naturally more creative? Silence.

EXEC2: That was rhetorical, wasn't it, sir?

EXEC1: Yes. Anyway, I was wondering if you guys have any ideas for a summer blockbuster. We haven't had one in a while, and I think this will be our last try before old Larry Levy comes in and takes our jobs.

EXEC3: I've got an idea.


EXEC1: I'm all ears.

EXEC3: Well, I read this excellent script the other day. It's about this guy out of Florida--

EXEC1: Oh, a Cuban mafia story?

EXEC3: No. Anyway, it's about this beekeeper--

EXEC1: Ah, killer bees! I like it!

EXEC3: No, not killer bees. It's this touching story about a man trying to keep his family together and--

EXEC1: Good lord, man! Are you trying to tank us?

EXEC3: But it already has a star attatched to it.

EXEC1: Willis? Clooney? Banderas?

EXEC2: Ooh, I LOVED him in EVITA.

EXEC1: Shut the fuck up.


EXEC3: Actually, Peter Fonda wants the role.

EXEC1: Fonda? He hasn't made a good movie since...oh, what was that one about the bikes...DELIVERANCE?

EXEC2: That was EASY RIDER, sir.

EXEC1: Same thing. Next!

EXEC2: What about a terrorist movie? You know, with a hostage situation and lots of riveting action sequences?

EXEC1: And we'd have to throw in a really cool European villian.

EXEC3: They already did that. It was called DIE HARD.

EXEC2: Okay, so we set it on a plane. The hero can run around the plane in flight knocking off terrorists.

EXEC1: I like it. Danger at 30,000 feet.

EXEC3: They already did that. Twice. Didn't work either time. Once with Wesley Snipes and once with Ray Liotta.

EXEC1: The boxer? Silence.


EXEC2: It's not important. Well, if they've done the trapped on a plane bit twice, but badly, why not do a good one?

EXEC3: Doesn't CON AIR come out next summer?

EXEC1: What's that?

EXEC3: Jerry Bruckheimer's new boom-fest.

EXEC1: Bruckheimer. Fuck. I hate that son of a bitch.

EXEC3: He doesn't like you either. Not since you got blitzed at Don Simpson's funeral.

EXEC1: So did everyone else!

EXEC3: Yeah, but you puked on the coffin. Silence.

EXEC1: All right, if Fuckheimer is going to do a trapped-on-a-plane-with-terrorists flick, then so will I. But we need a new angle.

EXEC2: Hey, we could set it on Air Force One.

EXEC3: The president's plane?

EXEC1: Can Clinton act?

EXEC2: We'll get a fictional president.

EXEC1: Okay, but he'll have to be the kind of president that everyone will like, Republican or Democrat. Almost too good to be true.

EXEC3: So kind of like that Rob Reiner movie?

EXEC1: Who?

EXEC2: Meathead.

EXEC1: Oh, God. I miss that show.


EXEC3: So basically we're talking about DIE HARD meets PASSENGER 57 meets THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT.

EXEC1: With a little of IN THE LINE OF FIRE. I love that Secret Service stuff.

EXEC2: That's a good idea.

EXEC1: It sure was. Wish I'd thought of that one. I love the scene where John Malko--

EXEC2: No, you blithering idiot. Wolfgang Peterson. He'd be perfect to direct it.

EXEC3: You really think we can get the director of DAS BOOT to do something as generic as this?

EXEC2: Everyone has a price.

EXEC1: Not me.

All laugh.

EXEC1: What do we call it?

EXEC2: Well, sir, the recent trend seems to be simplicity. People don't want a title to be confusing or misleading.

EXEC1: Yeah. You know, I went and saw that little piece of shit CHASING AMY, and not one goddamn girl in that movie was named Amy. I'll never understand those indie punks.

EXEC2: People like simple titles like VOLCANO, TWISTER, SPEED, you know, stuff like that.

EXEC3: Stupid shit like that.

EXEC1: Shut the fuck up.

EXEC3: What about AIR FORCE ONE?

EXEC1: Yeah, that's the plane it's on. We're past that, we're on to titles now.

EXEC2: No, that's it! AIR FORCE ONE is the title.

EXEC1: Ah, I get it. The plane is Air Force One, so the title is AIR FORCE ONE. How novel!

EXEC3: Your deductive powers never cease to amaze me. Silence.

EXEC1: So, who should star in my production of AIR FORCE ONE? Who would make an ideal president?

EXEC2: Harrison Ford.

EXEC3: Harrison Ford.

EXEC1: Agreed. Now, just one last thing. At the end of the movie, should the President kill the terrorist or should the bad guy get away, maybe after killing the First Lady or something?


EXEC1: That was a joke.

All laugh.

A blockbuster is born.


All Material Copyright 1998-2006 Movie Criticism for the Retarded.

For questions, comments, or the occasional stalking letter, send mail to Noel Wood. Please give proper credit when using any materials found within this site.

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