by Anthony King
When I first set out to do this series there were a handful of movies I knew I had to write about because I either loved them and wanted to bring more attention to them, or the poster and plot synopsis made them sound amazing. For the most part, every discovery I've watched for 52/82 has been good to great, with only a few forgetful movies and one bad movie. Clint Eastwood's Firefox was one of the movies I was completely sold by the poster and synopsis. From IMdB: “A pilot is sent into the Soviet Union on a mission to steal a prototype jet fighter that can be partially controlled by a neuralink.” Sounds amazing, right? What it doesn't say is that most of the movie takes place in a supersecret boardroom full of men making decisions related to the Cold War. There are two movies I can think of off the top of my head that make governmental boardroom scenes entertaining: Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove and Tony Scott's Spy Game. Both of these films make their boardroom scenes interesting due to unforgettable performances and flawless direction. The boardroom scenes in Firefox are lacking in both areas.
The coincidental timing of watching this movie also stood out. After everything happening in 2022, will we see the rise of anti-Russia movies again? It seemed like these were all the rage in the '80s. After demonizing Germany got played out, Russia took over as the big bad in American action movies. My vote is: I certainly hope not, because why disparage internationals when we have enough bad guys in our own country to depict? While I still love the big international war/crime movies of the '80s, I realize it's time to move on.
At one hour and 15 minutes into the movie, Gant walks into the hangar and commences the steal-the-plane-plan. The jet looks like a medium-sized SR-71 with room for a single pilot, and is driven out of the hangar with little to no consequence, including no flaming deaths when Gant fires up the boosters inside. Gant gets to the runway and takes off to music straight out of Stripes, a moment that literally made me guffaw. The rest of the movie is Gant trying to get to Antarctica to refuel before making the rest of the trip home where government officials can now use the Russian technology “for good.” There is one brief dogfight, but the jet (codename: Mother One), is so fast no other jet – or their missiles! – can keep up.