Air America - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Air America Reviews

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½ August 12, 2016
This film, now released on Bluray, should be Certified Fresh, especially in retrospect. Where is the truth in this film? The CIA will never tell nor confess. A buddy movie with flash, action, & great air-to-air shots. A terrific vehicle for both stars.
June 26, 2016
It had a interesting idea for a movie and also has a very good cast. But the movie itself was very boring and not funny and moved at such a slow pace.
May 20, 2016
The movie blends serious issues of the past with comedy very well. It makes for an insightful but enjoyable flick.
April 6, 2016
A disjointed and flat script made passable by two of Hollywood's most charismatic.
½ April 1, 2016
with a title (and front cover) like this I was expecting a pile of patriotic propaganda rubbish but not so. Quite the contrary. Yes it is full of loud annoying soldiers misbehaving in Laos but it's not a bad film and is probably one of the most underrated Vietnam war films out there.
½ October 26, 2015
Its a Ridiculous Movie That goes way over the top and way to unrealistic for its story and has some of the most goofy acting you can get in a film, "Thumbs Down".
½ May 20, 2015
A beyond stupid fun film
May 7, 2015
It's not really that funny or that deep, although it seems to think it pulls off both. That says it is consistently harmless and the individual scenes hold up well. It's also noticeable of course for starring Mel Gibson and a young Robert Downey Jr. (both of them pre-collapse) who work really well off each other. Worth seeing if not necessarily remembering.
½ March 28, 2015
So, this movie. Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. are pretty good in it, and the soundtrack is good. As for the rest, not so much. The writing is simply terrible.
March 25, 2015
A disappointment given the star power.
½ March 8, 2015
True classic action film, starring two great actors who are well known today. I don't know if this movie falls into the war category, I would say probably not. It has some humor, and doesn't take itself seriously in a good way, but most of the humour and jokes aren't really all the good, or are just too dumb. Shooting down a plane with a shotgun, grown men arguing over their colouring book, crashing a plane into the cargo bag of another crashed plane to hide it. Ya this movie is a farce for sure, but at least it is still kinda enjoyable most of the time. The acting isn't great, the script is bland, and the pace is slow. What the true plot is I'm not even sure, there's not a begging, middle or end, no problem or goals that the characters face. It just follows them around until they feel they are done and the senator leaves, who is a pain and doesn't really have a place. A simple film, full of planes taking off and landing constantly, missing a lot and although it's a classic, it isn't really any better than being mediocre at best.
January 2, 2015
It's a Mel Gibson action/adventure. If your a fan of Gibson, it works.
August 5, 2014
Very disappointing, the charisma of Gibson and Downey Jr. is wasted on a script that doesn't know what it is, is it a buddy comedy? is it a drug smuggling expose? who knows?
½ June 7, 2014
Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. make this film and enjoyable
March 11, 2014
Air America was said to be bad, but any film combining the talents of Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. isn't one to be missed.

The problems with Air America rest squarely on one factor: the marketing.
The film has been marketed as a buddy comedy against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, but in actuality the tone of the film is significantly different to what it has been advertised as. Air America is made too look like a comedy and even has elements in the film that makes it clear that to a certain extent, that is what Roger Spottiswoode was going for
There really isn't that much funny about illegal opium and heroin trade happening in Laos and it's transportation so the humour should come from either sight gags, humourous script moments or comedic characters. Air America boasts none of these and rarely could I actually pick up on comedic elements that the filmmakers had even attempted to implore into the story and so I wondered if half the time that is actually what they were going for or if it was all just a lot of confusion.
Ken Jenkins is the only person who seems to be consistently comedic but that's only because his performance is obviously very similar to his role as Doctor Bob Kelso in the hilarious long running comedy series Scrubs. Audiences may find his performance comedic by association, but stand alone there is nothing to signify that he is going for a comedic effort aside from that.
Air America has a few notable comic moments, but few of them are actually ever effective. For a supposed action-comedy, Air America is so obviously bereft of jokes and humour that audiences are likely to wonder who the hell decided to claim that the film was a comedy is way beyond me and all sensibility. Air America is no more a comedy than Saving Private Ryan, and the fact that it is said to be one by the filmmakers is ridiculous. When the film actually has clearly comedic moments, it is obvious that the three writers who teamed up to pen the film have failed to actually breathe any jokes into the experience. Air America's failed attempts at humour are cringe-worthy and it just reinforces the fact that it is not a comedy film. As it is it's barely even a failed attempt at a comedy since it is so far from humour that you'd need to be shipped as far as Vietnam to search for it. So really, if you go into Air America expecting a comedy or even a failed comedy, it will fail you in both areas which was my experience.
The film itself isn't too bad. It's flawed, but if you look at it without thinking that there are any comedic qualities to it you may find it to be a semi-decent Vietnam war film.
As it deals with a largely untold Opium and heroin trade theme, it covers a section of The Vietnam War not usually touched upon by other films that dealt with the concept, and it therefore takes an unbiased look at the theme and allows the anti-war concept to fall into place naturally without being forced. Air America doesn't tell its story as best as possible and is rudimentary as a whole, but in parts its fairly decent.
For one thing, Air America is a success from a visual perspective. While the visual effects aren't that great, the experience feels legitimate due to a lot of the vivid scenery which is shot mostly on location and the cinematography is very well angled and distanced. The colour palette that it captures is also very energetic. The action sequences aren't too bad either because they benefit from the same fine quality cinematography and editing, and there are a good few explosions in places.
But the story of the film could have been told a bit better, and I just don't think that director Roger Spottiswoode was up to the challenge when he took on Air America since he specialises more in actual buddy films such as Turner and Hooch or Stop! Or My Mom will Shoot, and so he was miscast as the director of Air America and tried to do to it what he knew best, and in this case it just was not appropriate and he was not the appropriate director.
The presence of the two lead actors gives it some benefit though.
While Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. are not at their best in Air America, it is good to see the two of them go at it considering that both of them have been pretty famous Hollywood superstars at different phases in their life with Robert Downey Jr. being one of the worlds biggest stars now after recovering from stays in rehab and brushes with the law, and Mel Gibson who is on the start of a comeback right now after his racist outburst. All that aside, it is just good to see them teaming up in their youth and engaging in a chemistry which has some comical moments but a genuine realism between them. The fact that they are teamewd up isn't as funny as one might hope, but its just good to see them doing it together anyway. And their standalone performances are alright as well. Granted they aren't incredible, but considering the substandard quality of the film it is just good to have two legends like Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. to boast about. They manage to lighten the mood a little and make for easy watching.

So Air America doesn't have enough action or nearly any comedy whatsoever so it can barely qualify as the action comedy that the marketing campaign for the film had it advertised as. And it doesn't take advantage of its high concept plot or tell its story all too well, but it has its moments and benefits from the two lead actors, Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr.
March 1, 2014
This movie has no direction of all. Waste of time.
January 30, 2014
Laos 1969: During the Vietnam War the CIA are running a private airline called 'Air America', which engages the services of mercenaries to run contraband in and out of the country. Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr.) joins Air America when he loses his job as a Helicopter Traffic reporter after getting into an altercation with a commuter. Billy soon discovers that Air America is no ordinary airline when he is introduced to his mentor Gene Ryack (Mel Gibson) and is forced to follow him on his weird and illegal adventures.

also stars Nancy Travis, Ken Jenkins, David Marshall, Lane Smith, Art La Fleur, Ned Eisenberg and Marshall Bell.

directed by Roger Spottiswoode
September 22, 2013
what a bucket of crap.
August 6, 2013
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode, then hot off the success of Turner & Hooch (1989), he took on this adaptation of Christopher Robbins' 1979 book which focuses on a side of the Vietnam War that not many people know about. It was originally to have been directed by Richard Rush (The Stunt Man (1980)), but there were numerous directors and actors attached before it ended up as it was. It's not bad, but it is a bit ramshackle in places, but there's fun to be had. During the Vietnam War in 1969, pilot Billy Covington (Robert Downey, Jr.) is sent to Laos to help with the war effort there after the Vietnamese invade Laos. But, it's a top secret covert job done by the CIA, which no-one can know about. Billy is employed as part of the Air America "civilian group" which sends supplies to civilians in Laos, he's working with pilot Gene Ryack (Mel Gibson), who knows all the tricks of the trade. Meanwhile, Senator Davenport (Lane Smith) has come from Washington to investigate alleged drug trafficking rumours, while trying to appease Royal Laotian General Lu Soong (Burt Kwouk) who has an opium trade going on. It's trying to be another M*A*S*H, and it was marketed as a knockabout buddy buddy comedy, but it's a lot darker than it makes out. But, Gibson and Downey make a good partnership on screen, but that's one of the few saving graces about this film.
½ June 29, 2013
Although it is a bit silly at times, this is an entertaining film with two enjoyable leads.
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