Air Force One Down (2024)

Air Force One Down Review

Air Force One Down


A novice Secret Service agent finds herself on board Air Force One for her first assignment, where terrorists take control of the plane with plans to crash it and destroy a crucial energy deal. With the President in danger and the world on the brink of disaster, she must exhibit all her courage and skills in an unrelenting fight that may alter history forever.


I just want to start this review by saying that I had no idea Air Force One Down starring Katherine McNamara was a thing until right now and my expectations were zero upon hitting play on my flatscreen. I know McNamara from some TV stuff and romcoms, but she did get down and dirty on The CW’s Arrow along with its prequel series Walker: Independence which I watched some of so I was willing to give her a chance when it came to headlining an indie action movie. Mind you, my expectations here were literally on the floor.

Well color me surprised because not only did i have a blast watching Air Force One Down but I’m sure there are some people out there that would disagree heavily with me but after seeing said film dang alright ummm let me put these words together here umm so Katherine Mcnamara might kick some other women of action’s asses in the future if she keeps doing adrenaline filled projects like this one! The movie is directed by James Bamford and runs a slick 86 minutes plus change as our hero basically does her best John Wick throughout most of it in some very brutal and well choreographed fight scenes that are pretty damn cool honestly.

The movie opens up showing us Allison Miles kicking ass as part of the United Stares Marines (we know because she makes all her fellow male comrades look dumb during their hand-to-hand combat drill) before being recruited by her uncle Sam Waitman (played by Anthony Michael Hall who is awesome) who is actually Uncle Sam himself being head of the Secret Service and all so that’s a fun play on words right there.

Once she gets this new job though, Miles has to do donut duty which is basically bringing coffee and pastries to her fellow agents. But not to worry, someone from Waitman’s detail can’t make it so now Miles is on the President’s unit aboard Air Force One baby! She doesn’t particularly like the President (played by Ian Bohen) but she still jumps at the chance of being one of his protectors because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and he’s the freaking President for christ sake

But, once this airplane takes off, it is immediately hijacked by terrorists who want to prevent the Commander in Chief from signing a new oil and energy deal with Askovia. Each agent is killed except for Allison and Sam who have to save the day in order to free the President and eliminate every single terrorist before they blow up everything.

However, it must be said that Air Force One Down has its flaws: some major pacing issues in the middle of the film; cliches in plot holes; and bad acting here and there. The movie makes up for all those negative points though because it features great beatdowns scenes where McNamara’s Allison fights her way through an army of enemies armed with guns, knives, hammers, fists and feet. I think what really makes this movie work so well is how much she sells us on this character – you never doubt for one second that she can handle herself like a pro! She also trained hard physically for this role which paid off big time during all those action sequences…she definitely would make Stallone or Schwarzenegger proud! In fact when watching these parts play out on screen I couldn’t believe my own eyes at times thinking “wow is that really her?”. That’s right folks – no stunt doubles were used during filming whatsoever!

And not only does McNamara look tough but she also talks tough too…and boy does she know how to back it up! There was one particular moment where a big bad guy pulls out his very large knife right in front of her face and all she does is whisper “Hi” followed by “Nice Knife.” I’m probably alone on this one but I thought that was pretty damn cool! Oh yeah did I mention yet that she’s drop dead gorgeous as well? Well let me tell you now then – having good looks mixed together with being able kick ass on screen equals pure sex appeal ladies & gentlemen!

Another thing I loved about Air Force One Down was Ian Bohen’s portrayal of President Dallas Edwards (yes, Dallas!). He isn’t your typical leader of the free world because he knows how to fight like a man! If there ever comes a time where we need this type person running our country please sign me up for citizenship immediately!! This guy not only talks tough but also backs it up with action including getting into some serious brawls throughout the film and even going so far as unloading an entire clip from his AK-47 into bunch bad guys’ faces. You could say that he’s channeling his inner Harrison Ford here folks after all no person named Dallas should ever be afraid throw down right? Oh yeah another thing – he has really good chemistry on screen with our leading lady too plus there’s even sexual tension between them both although they manage keep things professional which I respect greatly.

Anthony Michael Hall is an actor that has always been one of my favorites and it’s been incredible to see him grow from that young teenage actor in all those 80’s comedies. He has definitely shed the skin of type casting throughout the years by doing every different kind of project in every genre and he always shows why he is still around after all these decades. He brings grit and truthfulness to the movie as Allison’s Uncle Sam (I love that) and he is important to what happens and setting up where we are going with the plot. Unfortunately, he is only in the film for a short amount of time but he still lifts up the story and even gets to get his hands dirty a little bit in his own quick fight scene.

Now I would like to note that this trailer made it seem like another Die Hard clone on an airplane which it is true to an extent but the action only takes place for a small amount of time before they eventually hit land for the last third of the movie. While on board there was a pretty decent fight scene between Miles and one of the terrorists that completely caught me off guard and once it was over I was 100% invested. I personally would have liked to see a little bit more adrenaline while on the plane with maybe another altercation but the ending completely makes up for it.

This is where everything really hits a slow point once Miles & President Edwards escape from plane, this movie goes into much slower speeds for quite some time until finally picking back up towards end however this causes major damage because although yes we do need some quieter moments so we become more invested within two protagonists who have been thrown together due recent events I still think it hurt what it initially had going with momentum & should have continued siege on Air Force One longer but switching things up while keeping them at same level works too giving less claustrophobic feeling throughout majority running time which we all thought would be confined upon one area.

This is where McNamara really shines. I’m about to give her mad props on this climax and the whole scene got me thinking of another movie with Scott Adkins in it. Here’s Miles breaking free from her captors, slicing through an enemy gauntlet, and as soon as she started to “kill ’em all,” it brought back memories of the classic scene with Adkins in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning where he fights his way through dark underground corridors full of UNISOLS hammering his way rather violently through them. This newer scene with McNamara felt like a homage to that sequence, and she absolutely kills it, brandishing everything from machine guns to knives, showing no mercy whatsoever. Stunt coordinator Dmytro Rudyi and fight choreographer Pavel Avilov deserve a shoutout for this one – they’ve given us a bloody ballet of death that Katherine McNamara was more than game for, clearly enjoying every minute on screen and showing off what months’ worths of training can do.

I’m not going to lie – I rewound the scene and watched it again just to make sure I saw what I saw.

Air Force One Down is riddled with cliches, there’s a twist plugged betrayal that you’ll see coming out of left field from a mile away… but I don’t care about any of that because this movie was good. No bullshit here – while watching Air Force One Down, all my expectations were shattered. What seemed like another throwaway action flick turned out to be one helluva sleeper hit; Katherine McNamara came into her own as an actress after this one. She’s got looks AND sass AND attitude AND moves! If she wants it so bad (and she does), no other genre should stand in her way – female-led action films are hers for the taking! And those fight scenes? Man oh man… Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters could only dream of having half the intensity that every single one of these had. This’ll likely go unnoticed by most die-hard fans, as it almost did for me – but trust me when I say this: give it a shot! You might find yourself doing a double take once the hyper-kinetic mayhem takes over. It’s got an 87Eleven tinge to the choreography, and that’s high praise indeed… they’re easily one of today’s hottest action design teams working in Hollywood right now.

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