HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Blue Thunder Big Chopper
Year: 1983
Director: John Badham
Stars: Roy Scheider, Warren Oates, Candy Clark, Daniel Stern, Paul Roebling, David Sheiner, Joe Santos, Malcolm McDowell, Ed Bernard, Jason Bernard, Mario Marchado, James Murtaugh, Pat McNamara, Jack Murdock, Clifford A. Pellow, Paul Lambert, Anthony James
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's time for the night shift of the Los Angeles police department helicopter team to start, but one of their number, pilot Frank Murphy (Roy Scheider), is nowhere to be seen. One of his bosses sends Murphy's new co-pilot, Richard Lymangood (Daniel Stern), to find him, and he does discover him apparently meditating nearby, timing himself with his digital watch. Once that's out of his system, they take to the skies, and Richard admits he took this position because he thought there would be far less chance of being shot at. However, he is proven wrong when the first criminals they encounter open fire at the copter - but they're not who they should be concerned about...

In the eighties, movies began to embrace the kind of technology largely seen previous to that decade in science fiction, and not only movies, as the year prior Knight Rider had been a hit on television, proving that the main thing the action genre really wanted was an advanced vehicle, an advanced weapon, something advanced to reflect those changing days when everything computer-related was desirable. So Blue Thunder arrived in cinemas, not quite the airborne KITT - the helicopter didn't talk to Roy - but assuring us that no matter how outlandish the whistles and bells it carried, they were all in use by the U.S. Government.

This was presumably intended to up the paranoia ante, and looking back on this now it's clear that Blue Thunder represented the halfway point between the conspiracy thrillers of the seventies and the increasingly popular action thrills and spills that would take up a huge portion of the Hollywood blockbuster budget for quite some time to come. It wasn't the only exponent of this, of course, but it was one of the slicker examples, with a script by Don Jakoby and Dan O'Bannon that emphasised the hardware over the characters, who were somewhat taken from stock: Murphy is a Vietnam veteran who suffers flashbacks to a serious trauma, for instance.

Fortunately, director John Badham (who helmed the similarly technology-obsessed WarGames the same year) assembled a solid cast to bring the cardboard entities populating the story to life. Scheider was always a safe pair of hands in this type of thing, and gets a on-off partner in the shape of Candy Clark as Kate, who is just kooky enough to make you believe she would take part in a car chase with the cops at the crucial moment. Stern is good value as the naive but goodhearted co-pilot, and Warren Oates in his final role (the film is dedicated to him), snaps out his hardboiled lines like the pro he was.

Then there's the most hissable of the villains, Cochrane, essayed by Malcolm McDowell as the now customary English bad guy in an American action spectacular, whose catchphrase "Catch ya later!" you just know will come back to haunt him once he gets his comeuppance. So if you can't really take the politics as something we should be up in arms about, especially as we seem to be more used to the surveillance society now more than ever, what is there for the entertaiment seeker? Although Blue Thunder doesn't fly high in many people's lists of top action movies, that's doing it a disservice, as the stunts are excellent, and it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of seeing the aircraft of the title zooming through the landscape of L.A., past skyscrapers and even onto street level. There may be a boys with toys aspect to most of this, but its efficiency is very welcome, with agreeable and even slightly underrated results. Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3582 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Badham  (1939 - )

British-born, American-raised director of mostly medium-sized hits. He progressed from television in the 1970s to direct The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, but his second film was the blockbuster Saturday Night Fever. After that came a remake of Dracula, Blue Thunder, classic Cold War sci-fi WarGames, Short Circuit, Stakeout, the underrated The Hard Way, Nick of Time and Drop Zone, amongst others. He moved back into TV in the 2000s.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: