This film really does still hold up, despite being riddled with endless 80s action film cliches, telling story of Vietnam Vet, Roy Schneider, who's now an LAPD helicopter pilot being tapped to try out a new high tech, anti-terrorist helicopter. Government conspiracies then emerge and Schneider and his co-pilot, Daniel Stern, look to expose it. Written by solid genre screenwriters Dan O'Bannon ("Alien," "Total Recal") and Don Jakoby ("Lifeforce," "Arachnophobia"), with some script doctoring by Hollywood stalwart Dean Riesner ("Dirty Harry," "Coogan's Bluff," "Starman"), the techno-thriller action story was much more original when it first came out, but it's one now that's been endlessly imitated and now feels pretty stale (i.e. "Firefox," "Night Rider," or whatever super motorcycle movie you can think of). However, "Blue Thunder" overcomes this by sheer quality of cast and production. I'd forgotten what a strong actor Roy Scheider was. He's terrific in the lead, as is Warren Oates, in his last film appearance, in what otherwise would seem to be a cliched showing captain role, but he manages to make the character interesting and manages to steal every scene he's in. You also have Candy Clark as Scheider's wife, Daniel Stern as his co-pilot, Malcolm McDowell as Scheider's helicopter pilot rival and character actors James Murtaugh, Joe Santos and James Read. Directed by John Badham, ("Wargames," "Saturday Night Fever," "The Hard Way") who I'd always though was an underrated director, make the action exciting and give the film a slick look. Director of photography John A. Alonzo also gets credit for the film's sick look, particularly the nighttime scenes. And although the filmscore isn't a classic, the 80s style synthesizer score by Arthur B. Rubinstein is pretty fun too and adds a nice nostalgia factor (along with Scheider's Trans Am and prominently feature digital watch). Corny, but pretty fun stuff here.