"Air Force One" is 25 years old: five blockbusters worth seeing above the clouds

With "Air Force One" the recently deceased director Wolfgang Petersen (1941-2022) was responsible for a classic 25 years ago.

"Air Force One" is 25 years old: five blockbusters worth seeing above the clouds

With "Air Force One" the recently deceased director Wolfgang Petersen (1941-2022) was responsible for a classic 25 years ago. Harrison Ford (80) resists a group of terrorists as US President James Marshall. They hijack his plane - Air Force One - and take hostages. Marshall decides not to escape via the escape pod and tries to save the hostages. He doesn't have much time, because the kidnappers want to force the release of a dictator.

In addition, films were repeatedly devoted to the fascination of airplanes, which everyone should have seen:

It's similarly high in the cult film "Top Gun" for Tom Cruise (60). As Navy pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, he steers fighter jets through daring manoeuvres. Despite a lack of discipline, he is assigned with his comrade Nick "Goose" Bradshaw to elite training "Top Gun" in Miramar.

For Cruise, it was the big break at the beginning of a glorious career. With some support from the US military, one of the most spectacular action films of its time was created and a real feast for the eyes of flight and cruise fans. The success of that year's sequel "Top Gun: Maverick" proved that this type of film still attracts attention today.

"Flightplan" is a real horror for parents: Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster, 59) gets on a plane with her daughter Julia. After a nap, Pratt finds that the child has disappeared. Your search is unsuccessful, nobody on board has seen the little one. The mother begins to doubt herself and has no idea what is really going on. A gripping twist turns the action inside out.

A convincingly played Jodie Foster shines as a distraught mother in this psychological thriller. With the narrowness of the plane, the German director Robert Schwentke ("Determination") conveys anxiety and helplessness. At some point, the viewer begins to question the protagonist's state of mind.

A spectacular rescue maneuver in "Flight" puts pilot William Whitaker (Denzel Washington, 67) in a serious dilemma: drunk and coked, he was able to land his plane after a material defect, but six of the 102 passengers died. In the subsequent trial against him, he tries to hide his alcoholism and drug use. The failed family man suffers more and more from his addiction, which he doesn't want to admit. The drama accompanies a broken man through the fight against his demons, grippingly staged by director Robert Zemeckis (70, "Pinocchio").

Take Liam Neeson (70), give him a gun and let a couple of terrorists loose on him: Voilà, a blockbuster. "Non-Stop" isn't that flat. The action veteran has to prevent a blackmailer from blowing up a passenger plane as Air Marshal Bill Marks. However, this only communicates with him via SMS and the on-board telephone. Marks must figure out which passenger is the culprit before the bomb goes off.

First things first: the film doesn't do anything revolutionary. The cat-and-mouse game among the passengers remains exciting throughout. On the next holiday flight, every spectator will surely ask themselves the question: Who is actually sitting next to me?

The forced landing on the Hudson by pilot Chesley Sullenberger in 2009 was filmed seven years later, starring Tom Hanks (66). After an engine failure, Sullenberger got all 155 passengers out of the air alive. But afterwards he has to explain why he didn't choose a different path. The NTSB investigation threatens to destroy the supposed hero's reputation.

Director Clint Eastwood (92) succeeded with the drama in a comprehensible illustration of the event and an empathetic character study of the pilot. However, the film's portrayal of NTSB investigators drew criticism.

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