Executive Decision 1996 Movie Scene Kurt Russell as David Grant and Whip Hubley as Sgt. Michael Baker looking at the bomb

Executive Decision [1996]

Choosing suspense over action, Executive Decision stands out among in the sea of similar nineties action thrillers. This doesn’t mean there’s no action, because there’s plenty of it, just that the focus is on that foreboding atmosphere. Just one year later, we’ll get to opportunity to check out another action movie set on the airplane. Air Force One starring Harrison Ford feels like a more mainstream movie than this one. Hence the running time of over two hours. And I have to admit that I wasn’t bored not for one minute. The stunts and practical effects look really good with just a couple of outdated scenes. This means you will enjoy this movie even over thirty years after its initial release.

I guess now we have to talk about the fact that Executive Decision features a story that feels somewhat uncomfortable in the post-9/11 world. I guess people in the nineties felt that a scenario like this was simply wasn’t plausible. Moreover, this adds additional weight to the story making it feel personal and authentic. The cast is excellent, led by the charismatic Kurt Russel and convincing Halle Berry. Additionally, we should mention Steven Seagal who narrowly escaped the Golden Razzie for his role as Austin Travis. Finally, David Suchet, best known as Hercule Poirot, brought a whole new level of uneasiness as the lead terrorist. You had a feeling that things might kick off at any moment.

A group of terrorists led by charismatic but ruthless Naji Hassan takes control of Oceanic Airlines Flight 343. They demand that their leader Jaffa is released from prison or they will wreak havoc on US territory. To stop their plans, the government ensembles a team of specialists preparing to board the plane. However, things will start going wrong sooner than later…

I already talked about how you can play these sturdy nineties action movies in the middle of the night and watch them ’till the end. Executive Decision is one of those movies. Right from the start, we have the ticking clock gimmick and soon all kinds of plot twists will start popping off. The pacing is relentless and there are some really intense scenes. Well, intense for this type of movie standards. We have a lot of moving parts and subplots all converging into one hell of a story. And I don’t think it’s a spoiler when I say that things will more or less turn out alright. If you’re looking for similar, newer movies, check out White House Down, Olympus Has Fallen and Non-Stop.

Director: Stuart Baird

Writers: Jim Thomas, John Thomas

Cast: Kurt Russell, Halle Berry, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, David Suchet, Steven Seagal, Joe Morton

Fun Facts: The F-14 Tomcats that intercept the 747 are actual U.S. Navy Tomcats that the Navy agreed to use in the movie.

IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116253/

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