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Fire Birds

Fire Birds (1990)

tomatometer

10

Average Rating: 3/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 19

Despite the talent on board, Fire Birds is little more than a subpar military adventure sporting video game-like action, outdated philosophy, and uneven acting.

0

Average Rating: 2.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 9

Despite the talent on board, Fire Birds is little more than a subpar military adventure sporting video game-like action, outdated philosophy, and uneven acting.

audience

37

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 6,768

My Rating

Movie Info

Nicolas Cage stars in the below-par action film Firebirds -- a dying ember from Reagan-era nationalistic jingoism. In this Top Gun retread, Cage plays Jake Preston, a hotshot Army helicopter pilot who is being trained to use the U.S. Army's Apache aircraft to destroy the drug fields of a South American drug cartel. It up to his taskmaster instructor Brad Little (Tommy Lee Jones) to teach Jake humble lessons before he can be trusted to launch into the skies against the drug dealers. While Jake is

PG-13,

Action & Adventure

Feb 3, 2004

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (19) | DVD (1)

If you think of movies as big-screen video games, see Fire Birds. If not, you may want to skip this Top Gun with copters and cartels.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

David Green structures the film in the mold of the time-honored boys-into- men military exercise, but don't go looking for The Sands of Iwo Jima.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lean, mean, clean and empty-hearted, Fire Birds is a video-game recruiting poster with a bomb ticking inside--a bomb that never goes off.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sir. No, sir.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The action here is more like something you'd expect to pop a quarter in a machine for.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fire Birds resembles a morale booster project leftover from the Reagan era.

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It seems to have been written by some studio hack screenwriter, isolated from the world since 1941 in some forgotten movie studio storage room stocked with Spam, Lucky Strikes and a copy of the Monroe Doctrine.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

It may not be as glossy as Top Gun, but Fire Birds is still an above average B movie.

May 28, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

In a certain way, with the help of insomnia and perhaps the closure of one eye, Fire Birds actually works in a minor key. Let's just say it's the best 77-minute Apache helicopter actioner starring Nicolas Cage I've ever seen.

May 24, 2010 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

What makes Birds truly riveting entertainment is not the conflict between good and bad guys, but the clash between the film's apparent intent and the loony subversiveness of its performances.

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Cage's worst movie to date.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

We get five minutes of halfway-decent action that hardly makes up for the other 90 minutes of this lukewarm diarreah-fest.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Nicolas Cage and Tommy Lee Jones in a helicopter adventure. You've been warned.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

The actors try hard, but only Jones manages anything approaching sympathy; Cage seems to be doing a bizarre John Agar imitation and Young is terribly miscast.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Fire Birds

Jake Preston (Nicolas Cage) is a helicopter pilot training for war against a famous nemesis. Jake is the most skilled flyer of everybody, but he has a team of other helicopter flyers behind him including Brad Little (Tommy Lee Jones), who helps Jake train to be an even better pilot.
I thought "Fire Birds" was a good action movie. It might not be the best of its kind, but it's certainly not a bad movie. The training sequences and the final showdown between the Fire Birds and their major enemy is exciting. If you like action movies and especially if you like flying movies, I recommend getting "Fire Birds." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. Underrated action/flying flick to me.
August 15, 2009
stormyweather980

Super Reviewer

At last!!! I have been trying to remember the name of this film and find it for ages! Known as Wings of the Apache in the UK. This is basically Top Gun with the Apache gunship helicopter...I didn't even realize at the time Nicholas Cage and Tommy Lee Jones were in this! Must have have been a long time ago when I saw it, but it has some great action scenes. Well worth checking out!
July 7, 2008
Deano78

Super Reviewer

I saw this movie by accident. Tommy Lee Jones had some good throwaway lines though.
February 4, 2008
djdemersseman

Super Reviewer

A blatant Top Gun ripoff, this movie showcases the US Army Apache Helicpoter. Nicolas Cage assumes the Tom Cruise role as the hotshot helicopter pilot training to fly the Apache. Tommy Lee Jones is the token instructor who's seen it all, but remains in awe of the hotshot new pilot. Non-actress Sean Young line reads her way through the useless love interest role, who also just happens to be a helicopter pilot. And you thought the love story in Top Gun was wooden. All of this is moot since the movie serves only to throw the Apache into battle sequences. We get all the training sequences as our "hero" proves his stuff, until the squad is thrown into combat against a drug cartel at the end of the movie. The final battle sequence is fast moving and exciting, and wraps up the movie well. The journey to get there is as cookie cutter as these movies get, and at times you think they are making a parody of this genre. There are a couple of times the movie seems more Hot Shots than Top Gun. Still, as far as 80's action movies go (ok, it was released in 1990, but was MADE in 1989), it's a decent way to kill 90 minutes.
January 10, 2009
moviefan1725
RJ MacReady

Super Reviewer

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