Friday, December 7, 2012

Airborne (1998)

Last week, I reviewed a Michael Rooker action film (“Back to Back”). Feeling like continuing the trend of unlikely action heroes, I decided to review “Airborne” (not the rollerblading film) this week. And there’s only one reason it ever popped into my radar; Steve Guttenberg! That’s right, this is a direct-to-video action flick starring THE GOOT as the hero and Sean Bean as the villain. What’s not to love?

A lot, apparently. Once you get past the allure of Steve Guttenberg as the lead in an action film, you begin to notice the flimsy script. Julian Grant & Tony Johnston took the script to a generic action film and stripped it of any interest. No quirky dialogue, no character development, no interesting villain, no solid storyline and, worst of all, no exciting action sequences. The only scene that jolted my senses was the finale and that’s only because the image of Steve Guttenberg chasing a plane with a limousine and hopping onto the wing is hysterical!

Despite being the reason of interest, Steve Guttenberg is severely miscast as Bill McNeil, the weapons expert in the Mach 1 black ops team. His partners are Sara Gemmel (Torri Higginson), a hand-to-hand combat expert and Romeo Cortez (Phillip Akin), an explosives expert. At least I think that’s what he was an expert on. Spoiler alert; he dies early on. Somebody has to be fodder for the villain and give our heroes even more of a reason to fight.

That villain being Dave Toombs (Sean Bean), a random person who appears briefly to cause havoc for seemingly no reason. I’m sure an explanation was given, but the film put me in a catatonic state early on. The only times I was revived was when THE GOOT would sport a ridiculous attire. The first time we see him is in this crazy jumpsuit with a helmet that resembles Judge Dredd’s if he were on a five dollar budget. Later, he sports a members only jacket and a pair of sunglasses that scream douche bag. THE GOOT’s fashion sense knows no bounds.

It doesn’t really matter what Toombs’ objective was with the canister full of a deadly virus. I guess I should explain that more. Mach 1 was sent to retrieve a canister containing a deadly virus that, if memory serves correctly, could wipe out an entire state with one shot. It heavily resembles the game Kerplunk. It’s not nearly as fun or thrilling.

Where was I? Oh yeah, Toombs’ objective being fruitless. As it turns out, there’s a mole in the agency. Bob Murdoch (Kim Coates) is head of the investigation and believes it’s McNeil. McNeil thinks it’s Murdoch. I think it’s the 1989 Denver Broncos. Nobody honestly cares. Especially Guttenberg, who sleepwalks through his performance and appears to want to be anywhere else. I’m sure the lousy twist at the end solidified that feeling.

There’s not much more to say about “Airborne”. It’s as streamlined as a film can be and doesn’t deliver on the goods. None of the action, outside of the finale, is staged well and the actors all seem to want to pick up a paycheck and forget this experience ever happened. This may be why Sean Bean only appears briefly, despite being the main villain. The only reason to watch this is for the surreal experience of watching Steve Guttenberg in an action film. Other than that, it’s best you avoid this!

MVT: I guess Steve Guttenberg. He puts on one of the worst performances of his career, but at least rocks some bitching attire. That’s worthwhile enough.

Make or Break: Can I say the entire film up until the finale? I don’t care if I can or not! The entire film up until the finale is the break.

Final Score: 3/10

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