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Executive Decision

This 'bomb on a plane' action-thriller takes off smoothly, hits some terrorist turbulence at cruising altitude, and doesn't come down until the palm-sweating finale. Koran-quoting Arab Nagi Hassan (Suchet) and his team take over a 747 bound for Washington, DC, and threaten to kill all on board if their imprisoned leader isn't freed. But intelligence analyst David Grant (Russell) senses that Hassan has a more heinous plan: to land the plane, release its (supposed) payloadof lethal nerve toxin, and wipe out the Eastern seaboard. So, while on the ground the military men and politicians decide whether to down the plane and cut their losses, an anti-terrorist unit led by Lt Col Austin Travis (Seagal) uses a prototype 'sleeve' to board the aircraft in midair. Providing high-altitude intelligence back-up are pencil-pusher Grant and the sleeve's designer Cahill (Platt), both way out of their depth. As befits an editor-turned-director, Baird has a strong sense of pace and suspense, but even his cross-cutting skills are no match for a plot that fragments the action and blurs the narrative focus. Even so, the escalating tension largely compensates for the lack of character involvement, and the climax will have you reaching for your safety belt.

Release details

Duration: 132 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Stuart Baird
Screenwriter: John Thomas, Jim Thomas
Cast: John Leguizano
David Suchet
Joe Morton
Steven Seagal
Halle Berry
JT Walsh
Kurt Russell
Marla Maples Trump
Oliver Platt
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