Broken Arrow (1996) John Woo

Production Budget: $65 million
Worldwide Gross: $77 million

Broken Arrow is about two stealth bomber pilots: Hale (Christian Slater) and Deakins (John Travolta).  They go out on a test flight with a pair of live nuclear warheads.  Deakins attempts to hijack but they end up crashing the plane in the middle of a national park.  Deakins continues to carry through with the plan with Hale trying to stop him with the help of a sexy park ranger.

This is a guilty pleasure movie if ever I’ve seen one.  This is a dumb movie but I can’t help liking it.  There’s not much in the way of plot in this one.  After we get the formalities out of the way its Hale gets the nukes, action scene, Deakins gets the nuke, action scene, Hale gets the nukes, action scene, etc.    Kind of a live action version of capture the flag.  You have decent action scenes with Hale spreading thousands of bullets from his six shooter against an endless horde of anonymous bad guys.  Woo switches things up by staging action on humvees, caves, and a train.

What really sells this movie though is the acting.  Not really from Slater.  He does alright and is a fine action star.  No, I’m talking about John Travolta.  This dude chews more scenery than three Malkovich performances combined and its brilliant.  He permanently has a shit eating grin on his face.  He’s always cool like Fonzy, spouting out cool lines, and strutting like he’s back in Saturday Night Fever.  Its really something to laugh at.

The movie does drag a bit in the scenes where Delroy Lindo and a wormy government guy have extended talky scenes.  They serve no purpose because they talk about the theory that Hale is possibly the hijacker and not Deakins but is quickly debunked making those scenes entirely pointless.

There’s not much more to say to it than that.  The action is fair and the rest of story is campy fun.  Its also a hell of a lot better than other American Woo entries like Paycheck and Windtalkers.  I recommend it as a good rental or if you catch it on tv.


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