Saturday, February 4, 2017

Airboss II: Preemptive Strike (1998)

I put off watching Airboss II: Preemptive Strike for a long time because the first Airboss was so awful. I wanted to forget it, in order to give this one a chance. And I did, largely, forget it. Now I need to start working on forgetting Airboss II: Preemptive Strike. While it is actually better than the first one (it couldn’t possibly be worse), it’s still not a good movie.

James Kelley gets a phone call from a mysterious man who asks him how he feels watching his fighter planes. “I don’t feel anything,” Mr. Kelley says. Oh boy. The mysterious caller, who apparently owns a lot of oil, then tells him, “I despise your decadent society, and I’ll tell you, I will destroy it.” There is actually a nice political message in there about the corruption of our government. Also, check out this eerily prescient line: “As long as the economy is good and we’re at peace, Charles Manson could be in the White House, and no one would give a shit.”

There are a lot of boring shots of planes flying around as Frank “Bad Dog” White trains another pilot. Things pick up a bit, however, with the appearance of two strippers. Boobies work to distract me from the lack of story and characters. Unfortunately, those breasts are seen only briefly, and then we have to go back to the plot, such as it is. Frank White is giving up the carefree life of a fighter pilot to become an astronaut, and is going to command his maiden space voyage. Frank’s gay friend (whose name is Bone – I’m not kidding) watches the launch, commenting, “God, you look great up there.” He then says, “Just get back to me, all right?” But Frank might be more interested in Lucy, his young female co-pilot, though he does request a golden shower from his gay friend. Keeping up his options, I think.

One of the scientists on the space shuttle reveals that he’s brought a genetically altered strain of the Ebola virus on board in his lunch box. (By the way, the scientist is named “Bix Bender,” though every time his name was spoken, I thought they were saying “Big Spender.”) There are only four people on this mission – two scientists, Frank and Lucy. And Lucy doesn’t seem to do a single thing on the mission. Anyway, when the shuttle lands, two people in sunglasses say they’re from NASA security and need to talk with the scientists. A little later they approach Frank just to tell him he’s been asking a lot of questions, this coming immediately after we hear him ask his first question, about the whereabouts of the science team. They must have been standing nearby waiting for him to ask a question, just so they could try to intimidate him with their cliché line. Well, it doesn’t work. Frank is not intimidated. He finds Big Spender, who tells him that someone took the Ebola virus. Uh-oh.

And it gets worse. The CIA and FBI are behind it, so Frank and his gay friend lead a black ops mission to take down the villains. They buy a tank and some guns, and… Well, it’s all very silly. And a girl is able to hack the CIA computer system in like three seconds. Soon a plan to kill everyone in New York is revealed. Frank asks Mr. Kelley, “How can you kill that many people?” Kelley responds, “What have they ever done for me?” Ah, it’s difficult to argue with that logic. But the movie ends happily, with Frank going home with his gay friend.

The lesson you might take away from this film is that people who wear sunglasses and smoke cigars are bad people.

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