Within the first 20 minutes we have Sylvester Stallone leading an assorted group in a daring chopper rescue of prisoner Wesley Snipes from a chugging train ending in a massive explosion. This is followed by an exciting capture of arms trader and art dealer Mel Gibson amidst ruins of a city. The cat and mouse game continues with some more action. Some more planning by Sylvester,and his search/ selection of a younger and tech savvy team, with yet another capture operation.
The plane they use has a huge design in the front of a monster’s face with fangs and with a drawing of a falcon on a skull at the side of the plane. A clear message of their intentions!
Helping out Sylvester in this action is cigar smoking and cool airplane pilot Arnold Schwarzenegger. Old timer Harrison Ford is there too, passing on mission instructions to the team and finally getting to be the part of the action in the climax. Antonio Banderas is yet another loud mouth desperado itching to get into action and providing some comic relief. Also we have Jason Statham ( of the film Transporter) as the right hand man sitting in the co pilot’s seat and interacting with Sylvester.
So we have Rambo( Sylvester), Terminator ( Arnold), Zorro(Antonio) and Transporter ( Jason) in action on the orders of Ford ( President in Air Force one). The action is bound to be good and it is.
The story (credited to Sylvester along with 2 others) is about the tasking of Barnie (Sylvester) to capture alive Stonebanks ( Mel Gibson) who is running an arms racket and wanted by law. After a failed capture operation Sylvester decides to retire his team and selects a younger team but it is finally his old team which helps him out in this mission.
With an impressive lineup of talent and massive logistic support for the action, director Peter Hughes has been been able to muster together some amazing action. There is plenty of airplane, chopper, rail train, automobile, speed boat, and motorbike action to thrill the action loving cinegoer not forgetting the scaling of glass skyscraper. Plenty of chases,crashes and explosions to set your pulse raising
Interspersed in the action are some interesting one liners.
Wesley Snipes,the knife thrower says “ Call me the knife before Christmas “.
Mel Gibson when captured says “ You just can’t deliver me like a package” and "You guys have a conscience and that’s what makes you weak”
Banderas says “ Age is a state of the mind” when he is considered old for the raid. This is in any case the motto of the film.
Sylvester sails through as the angry, stoic, vendetta seeking leader of the group. Mel Gibson plays the negative character with style belting out some good lines. Arnold is not fully in the action, playing the cool cigar smoking airplane pilot. Wesley has done well as the knife thrower with wide eyed innocence. The scene where he shaves with a huge knife is amusing. Harrison Ford is impressive as the the face of organising authority and does spring a surprise at the end taking part in the climax. Antonio Banderas as the action crazy greenhorn is guilty of over acting to the point of annoyance but we can let it pass.
The movie is mounted superbly with excellent camerawork, editing and special effects.