Maverick LA cop Frank Murphy (Scheider), never happier than when he's in the pilot's seat conducting irregular surveillance of the nearest nude yoga fanatic, is assigned to test-fly Blue Thunder, the last word in hi-tech attack helicopters. When Murphy twigs that the military has sinister designs for the super-chopper, his liberal hackles rise. They rise still further when the sardonic Col Cochrane (McDowell) makes it personal: the two last met on a tour of duty in Vietnam. The opposition of good and evil is devoid of any subtle shading, so just sit back and enjoy the spectacular dogfight over downtown Los Angeles. The sight of aircraft smashing into tall buildings, however, slightly takes the edge off the fun after 9/11, but director Badham wasn't to know that two decades earlier. Warren Oates is good value as Murphy's grizzled and grumpy superior.