Monday, June 17, 2013

Jet lag: FIREFOX(1982)

I recently, as I do from to time, purchased a DVD of a movie after seeing it being broadcast on a TV cable channel. AMC recently aired FIREFOX(1982) and, discovering it wasn't in my modest DVD collection, I ordered it online from Amazon.

Clint Eastwood stars in this action adventure film as former Air Force ace pilot "Mitchell Gant", a man   recruited by a joint U.S./UK group to steal a top secret Russian jet capable of Mach 5 speed, possessing an invisibility cloak and thought controlled on-board weapon system. Gant, recruited because of his Russian heritage(on his mother's side), his top notch abilities as a jet pilot and his ability to speak Russian, is well qualified for the high risk assignment but also suffers from PTSD(post traumatic stress syndrome) from his capture and torture at the hands of the Viet Cong after being shot down during a Vietnam War sortie.

A great part of the film focuses on Gants' initial incursion into Russia and his efforts to avoid and evade the KGB which begins following his every move upon his arrival in Moscow. Gant assumes several fake identities and is aided in his efforts by a group of anti Soviet sympathizers who, despite some very close calls, manage to get Mitchell Gant into the hangar and close proximity with "Firefox", the MiG 31 jet he has been tasked with stealing. Eventually Gant manages to get into the warplane's cockpit and take off, triggering an all out effort by the Russians to shoot him down. (no other spoilers).

This movie has grown on me over the years. The big knock on this movie is how long it takes for the real action and special effects to get going which I get. Still, once Gant is in the air piloting "Firefox" the movie really takes off, literally.

Firefox(1982) is on Blu Ray: it's paired with 1986's "Heartbreak Ridge" as a double feature BD release and also is part of the "Clint Eastwood 20 Film Collection" BD release(which is pricey at $119.99).  I'm guessing this movie is generally hit or miss with action movie fans. Eastwood's performance as ex Air Force pilot "Mitchell Gant" is at times a little too casual for me but some of the supporting cast are surprisingly good including Freddie Jones as British SAS point man "Kenneth Aubry" and Stefan Schnabel, the latter who plays rumpled looking, grouchy, sullen and menacing Soviet First Secretary "Leonid Brezhnev".

The special effects are a bit uneven and bear in mind that they cannot compare now with CGI and other green screen effects tech.That said I like the action effects overall.

I'd definitely recommend Firefox(1982) as a Netflix movie rental for action movie fans who haven't seen it.

An HD trailer:

Click the link to see Firefox(1982) for sale at Amazon:  FIREFOX DVD at Amazon