Blue Thunder (1983)

Film: Blue Thunder
Release: 1983, theatrical
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Roy Scheider, Daniel Stern
Directed by: John Badham
IMDB page: Link opens in a new window
Description: A skilled helicopter pilot is struggling with Post-Traumatic stress disorder and a suspension from the force. Meanwhile, the government is testing a new type of high-tech police helicopter nearby - The Blue Thunder.

Hans' thoughts:

When you ask someone "What is the most important part of a good movie" people will give you a lot of different answers, some will say a good plot, others will say a skilled crew. While these are all very good answers, one of my top 5 necessities for a good movie is thus:

Likable protagonists. This movie doesn't exactly have that.  Don't get me wrong, the movie certainly makes an effort to try and make us like the characters but in earnest the actors are just too bland to make it happen. This ended up being a boring movie because of that, not that I think a stronger crew could have made the movie all that better. The story is paced strangely to say the least, and the motivations behind the different characters are never explained in full. You have Roy Scheider walking around trying to pull off the bad ass cop look, unfortunately he never does or says anything that gives us that feeling so he ends up just being kind of awkward towards his peers. Daniel Stern's character, the young upstart Lymangood, could have been a somewhat interesting character. Unfortunately we never learn anything about him as a person other than he apparently can't control himself when he sees cleavage and scratches at the computer screen like a 14-year old trying desperately to prove to his classmates that he isn't homosexual. Even Malcolm McDowell's villain character isn't all that interesting. Not that the poor guy isn't given much to work with, he's supposed to be a posh British guy but we never understand why he's evil. He's just kinda evil because in the 80's, people with British accents were evil. They even try to give him a catchphrase, but every single actors delivery of the line is just to flat that I just cringed whenever it's said.

The plot just doesn't make a lick of sense. So we have this police force pilot who - for whatever reason, get's a new upstart partner. The first thing they decide to do is to use official government equipment for spying on women. Then you have some sort of PTSD subplot that never really goes anywhere. Because hey, First Blood just came out last year and it's apparently a topic we bring up now! It made me feel bad for people who actually had to deal with it in their lives. So I guess it kinda succeeded in that aspect, just not the way they intended. Here's a hint guys, if your character is supposed to have PTSD, please for the love of cinema take a minute to consider how much you actually know about the condition. If your answer is "Well, they saw something bad happen right?" or anything to that effect do me a favor and donate to a PTSD charity instead.

 So all in all, this was a very bland and boring movie. I don't really think it could have been anything else with that concept. What it seems like happened with this movie, is that they looked at what elements made other movies popular at the and just kinda threw them together hoping for something coherent. This is what happens when money win over creativity.
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