Drop Zone 1994 Movie Scene Wesley Snipes as Pete and Yancy Butler as Jessie performing stunts in the air while skydiving

Drop Zone [1994]

Ahhh, there’s nothing more relaxing than a true nineties action movie. And you know you’re watching one when you hear that sweet juicy guitar solo during an opening sequence. An opening scene that takes you straight to prison to witness an assassination attempt. Drop Zone is a charming nineties action movie with a skydiving twist starring Wesley Snipes. We will be following a US marshal on a trail of a gang using some rather unorthodox methods of entry. And right away I have to mention another 1994 action movie featuring a skydiving gang, Terminal Velocity.

Starring Charlie Sheen and Nastassja Kinski, that is a far inferior movie to the one we’re going to be talking about today. Still, if you’re a sucker for these sorts of things, I guess it will be worth a watch. I personally could not finish it, it was just too messy and lazy. Although it also features some pretty intense stunts with people using parachutes to maneuver dangerously close to buildings. If you’re wondering how come we got two very similar movies in a span of just a couple of months, the answer is Point Break. Released in 1991, it triggered a small wave of B movies trying to copy its success.

And if you think that Drop Zone or Terminal Velocity are bad movies, you haven’t seen the Point Break 2015 remake. Yes, it’s one of those movies so bad that they’re good. Finally, the 2000 movie Cutaway starring Tom Berenger and Dennis Rodman also features a lot of skydiving scenes. Moving on, the cast of Drop Zone is full of familiar faces starting with probably the most memorable one of Mr. Gary Busey. We then have ravishing and spunky Yancy Butler (Hard Target), funny Michael Jeter (Tango and Cash), and dependable Rex Linn (Cliffhanger). However, who surprised me the most was Kyle Secor who plays the crazy skydiver Swoop. 

I know him as Tim Bayliss, an intelligent detective in one of my favorite tv shows while growing up Homicide: Life on the Street. I shouldn’t forget about Robert LaSardo, a man covered in tattoos who always plays a bad guy and imposing Claire Stansfield (Sensation). So, as I said, a lot of familiar faces. What makes Drop Zone stand out are the insane stunts. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go skydiving but I do enjoy watching other people do it. Here, we will be able to peer into the community of these adrenaline junkies. And, more importantly, you’ll learn what it means to gift wrap somebody.

Two US marshals just boarded a regular passenger plane with their prisoner, computer expert Earl Leedy. They’re escorting him to a federal prison as he’s about to testify against the mob. However, in the middle of the flight, a group of hijackers takes control of the plane and then steals Leedy from them. What they did not count on was the stubbornness of Pete Nessip, one of the marshals who they humiliated. He’s determined to get to the bottom of this and so he decides to learn everything he can about skydiving.

As you can already guess, the aerial photography was excellent here. Somebody had to do the filming while simultaneously falling to the ground, a feat worthy of admiration. John Badham, director of this movie, was behind another airborne thriller some ten years earlier, Blue Thunder. Wesley Snipes did not skydive but Michael Jeter really did do a tandem jump. If you’re looking for more underrated nineties action movies, check out Drive, Run, and Black Dog. Each of these movies offers something special, just like the one we talked about today.

Finally, did you know there’s a ride in an amusement park based on this movie? Yes, Drop Zone is one of those Paramount movies that got their own ride in the Paramount Parks amusement park. Now called Cedar Fair, the ride’s original name was Drop Zone: Stunt Tower but since the takeover, it’s been known as Drop Tower

Director: John Badham

Writers: Tony Griffin, Guy Manos, Peter Barsocchini

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Gary Busey, Yancy Butler, Michael Jeter, Kyle Secor, Corin Nemec

Fun Facts: Steven Seagal and Andy Garcia declined to star in this movie.


IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109676/

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