Directed by: David Worth
Starring: Robert Rusler, Jennifer Gareis, Benjamin Burdick, Fredric Lehne, Pepper Sweeney, and Ivaylo Geraskov
"The Spirit Of This Country Will Not Be Defeated!"
The second-best of the "American Heroes" series (the best being Special Forces), Air Strike is a cliche-ridden mess, but it's not boring. At least not most of the time.
When evil drug lord Ivan Stefanovich (Geraskov) and his nefarious army, the Tiger Guard, start causing trouble in the Eastern European country of Petrovia, the American helicopter pilots are called in to start shooting and missile-ing everything in sight. Ben Garret (Rusler) is called out of retirement to handle the situation because apparently his brother Jack was a legendary soldier. When Charlie (Gareis) (who turns out to be a...woman *gasp!*) joins the squadron, Top Gun-style sparks fly. Just because she is General Cornelius Jones' daughter, she doesn't want any special treatment. Garret is eventually captured and tortured by the baddies, but then he rejoins his team to exact an explosive revenge.
Now, I'm all for patriotism. We probably love America more than anyone you'll ever meet, but this is just ridiculous. It's like director David Worth was given the mandate "make it patriotic", and he went so far over the top it almost seems snide. It's as if he saying "Oh, they want patriotism, I'll give 'em patriotism..." There's an American flag in almost every scene in the movie, and the characters chant "U-S-A! U-S-A!" so much it's actually embarrassing. Interestingly, if you look at the end credits, the films in the American Heroes series are not made by Americans so I wonder what they thought about all this. But then again, I suppose no one's stopping them from making their own movie about Bulgarian pride.
Other things worth noting are the funny, overly deep and gravelly overdubbed "bad guy voice" Ivan Stefanovich has, the TV monitor that the military brass are constantly watching that says in giant letters taped to the screen "DRONE SCREEN" (maybe the film of Air Strike was playing on it...ha!), and the fact that Garret's team in the film is called "Blue Thunder". Why would they make the audience recall in their minds a good helicopter movie, thus making the one they are currently watching seem even worse by comparison?
But the bottom line is that Air Strike has every cliche in the book and a lot of flaws, but Robert Rusler does his best.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett