Air America



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Time Out says

Gooood morning, Vietnam - again? Actually, the fly boys in Spottiswoode's megabudget action comedy are just over the border in Laos, but the song remains the same: innocent and not-so-innocent Americans caught up in a war they don't understand. Crazy pilot Gibson is employed by the CIA to transport humanitarian aid and heroin, the latter intended to finance the local anti-Communist warlord's private army. Despite the black comic tone, it is impossible to identify with Gibson's cynical, selfish loner whose lucrative sideline is gun-running. That leaves the uncharismatic, ineffectual Downey holding the conscience ticket - as the wide-eyed new boy whose efforts to expose such nefarious activities cause the faeces to hit the propeller - and a huge hole in the middle of the picture. Somewhere amid the MASH-style lunacy, magnificent flying sequences and expertly choreographed stunts, a serious political movie is struggling to make itself heard. Mostly, however, this contentious counterpoint is reduced to background noise, drowned out by maniacal laughter, deafening explosions and a slew of late-'60s pop songs.


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Release details

UK release:



118 mins

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