Let’s get off the plane! As President of the United States, Harrison Ford became America’s favorite dad-ish action hero. It’s probably not because “President Ford” would have sounded weird if you didn’t remember that Ford’s fictional US President in Air Force One was named President James Marshall.
In my opinion, Air Force One – which hit theaters on July 25, 1997, and topped the box office in August of that year – is Harrison Ford’s greatest action movie, since the actor is playing himself. The best Harrison Ford movie is debatable since there are two opposing criteria.
In other words, you’re either saying Harrison Ford is in the best Harrison Ford movie because he’s in it, or you’re saying it’s the best Harrison Ford movie because it represents everything Harrison Ford is known for in the zeitgeist.
Another way to assess Harrison Ford movies is to assess them based on the art itself, as opposed to using the golden record/time capsule logic; I.e. if you were going to show a Harrison Ford movie to people 100 years from now, or preserve it for future space alien anthropologists, you wouldn’t pick Witness or Frantic.
It makes perfect sense to pick Air Force One for the greatest Harrison Ford movie ever, instead of Star Wars or Indiana Jones, since it is a movie that can only exist because of Harrison Ford’s inherent Harrison Forness.
Since we only remember one part of the movie, we don’t remember that his character was named James Marshall: That great ’90s film where Harrison Ford kicks ass as the President. There is a sense in which Air Force One represents all of Harrison Ford’s importance in American culture until that point.
In a microcosm, that is how we wanted to think about Harrison Ford, as well as a badass, he is also a goodass. This is a President who seems down-to-earth but is more distant than he is, and Ford is playing him that way. Unpacking Harrison Ford’s everyman-charm is an intellectual ouroboros; you either unquestionably love his cinematic persona or you’ve never seen his movies.
This movie is a by-the-numbers thriller directed by Wolfgang Petersen that is just realistic enough to be credible, but not too realistic that it doesn’t make sense. The idea of terrorists hijacking Air Force One with the President aboard feels authentic enough, and Gary Oldman’s casting helps because 1997 coincided with his run as the go-to baddie for every major film.
Oldman’s performance doesn’t stand out or anything it’s pretty bland. In most cases, revisiting the movie results in the reaction, “Of course, Gary Oldman is the bad guy.” It’s like no one is surprised when Kevin Hart appears in a movie with the Rock. The point is that Air Force One feels like a classic action movie that existed before it was ever made.
And, none of those feelings have anything to do with the film. Essentially, the elevator pitch is: What if Harrison Ford was the President of the United States and fought terrorists on Air Force One? If the movie does not already exist, it would be greenlit right away. Since Ford was 55 when Air Force One was made, it might be more feasible for him to do it again in 2022.
At 80 years old, Harrison Ford is the same age as a contemporary president, which poses the question: when the hell will we be able to see Air Force One-2? I want to get back on my plane! That could be the tagline for the trailer.
Dakota Cameron is a seasoned web content writer and covers the Hollywood movies for the MovieThop Website
Ms. Cameron began his professional life as a freelance blogger. Later, he worked for Witbe as a content writer for two years. His interests include blogging, reading, movies and travel.
Ms. Cameron graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication from University State of Georgia University. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and other languages.