Bullet Points: Executive Decision
Along with celebrating St. Patrick’s Day here at Bulletproof Action we are also celebrating the birth of one of the best action stars in history in Mr. Kurt Russell. He’s had a long and illustrious career that isn’t quite over yet as he’s signed on to be in Quentin Tarrantino’s next flick and also a movie with a killer title called Bone Tomahawk. Below you’ll find my review of one of his later movies involving a hijacked plane, John Leguizamo, Steven Seagal’s ponytail, and Oliver Platt rubbing tanning oil on Halle Berry. Ok, I just made that last part up but if you’re feeling a little nostalgic for a movie that wasn’t afraid to only employ Middle Eastern people in terrorist roles then you need to check out some Executive Decision. Oh, and grab a beer while you’re at it. It is St. Patrick’s Day, ya know!
The Gist: When an airliner filled with Americans gets hijacked by terrorists, Intelligence Analyst Dr. David Grant and Special Operations Officer Colonel Austin Travis team up to board the plane and stop the terrorists before they blow up Washington D.C.
The Cast: Teaming up Kurt Russell and Steven Seagal isn’t something that I would have normally been pining for since the two actors have a very different style and when they lead a movie they tend to go about things a different way. Russell can fit into about any role; the intellectual like he does here in Executive Decision, or the badass role like in Escape from New York or even Stargate, which he had just completed. Seagal always plays the badass….always. He breaks arms, snaps necks, and wears the meanest pony tail since Moses tied his hair up and split the Red Sea. The crazy thing about ExD, even after all these years, is how little Seagal is in the movie. I know that he had a pretty good 7 or 8 year run and his top five movies are as good as any action star alive, but to go down this quickly in a movie was pretty surprising. Halle Berry, Oliver Platt, and John Leguizamo make up a pretty great supporting cast.
Halle Berry has been hot for 30 years and at this rate shows no signs of stopping.
The Villain: David Suchet plays Nagi Hassan, head of the terrorists who take over the plane and while he was convincing enough he wasn’t really that bad of a guy. I mean, except for the whole “I’m gonna blow up Washington” business. His actions were really more about his undying loyalty to his cause. Now, his cause included murdering millions of innocent people but except for killing one of his own men on the plane he acted like a gentleman. I like my villains to be way worse than that. If you expect me to cheer for our crew to take the plane and kill all these nameless bad guys then I might need a little more from our main bad guy. Seriously Hassan, drawing a picture of the city you’re targeting with a giant target on it. That is some 3rd grader bullshit.
Another in a long list of non-Muslim actors playing Muslim terrorists.
The Action: Most of the movie is leading up to the action in the final act. There is definitely a lot of tension that gets built up over whether or not the bomb will explode or whether or not they’ll get caught by the terrorists. When it finally comes down to the action it is fast and furious, just how something like that has to be. The terrorists snuck their weapons onto the plane with remarkable ease, reminding me just how much crazier it was to fly in a pre-9/11 world. One thing you have to love about 90’s movies is how they always try to get the title of the movie spoken at some point. Classic.
I don’t remember anyone getting their limbs broken by Seagal….a real let-down.
Take it Home:
- Gettin’ Paid: Halle Berry’s first role to pay her $1 million.
- Now for Plan B: Originally Steven Seagal was supposed to die after his head exploded due to low cabin pressure but he wasn’t about to go out like no punk so he held up filming for a few days and threatened to breach his contract and was eventually given a death a little more fitting of a badass like himself.
- This ain’t SNL: According to John Leguizamo’s autobiography, he and Kurt Russell got into a shoving match on set when Leguizamo kept improvising lines.
- Jump to Conclusions: I can’t wait for Office Space’s Richard Riehle to save the day!
- Favorite quotes: When the terrorists put a gun to the head of the pilot, “Careful, I am a pilot.”