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Movie Review: Airwolf: The Movie

This APADM offering isn't technically a movie - it's really just an extended pilot episode of the TV series. It only made it into my shopping basket because I'm a soppy nostalgic wotsit sometimes.

For most of you who are too young to remember the 80s, this is a classic example of the sort of TV we got then. Where men were men, women were women and vehicles defied the laws of physics. Airwolf is a helicopter - a special helicopter that can at a flick of a switch accelerate up to and beyond the speed of sound. Somehow it manages this without it's rotors being ripped off. But when you're a kid watching such things on TV, it doesn't really matter.

The basic plot is that some guy has built this super high spec helicopter for the US government. Except's his not a really nice guy and ends up stealing his creation and fleeing to a friendly middle eastern dictator. Who gives him anything he wants if he blows up his enemies. This includes a suspected female CIA agent whose body is found later in desert cos he clearly doesn't know how to play well with others.

So the government turn to the only other guy to have ever piloted this super helicopter who, if I'm honest, isn't any less screwed up than the guy that stole it. Early on when they're trying to convince him to help them, he nearly rapes the female lead cos he thinks she's only there to seduce him. But then he falls for her anyway. Which is handy cos the CIA send her in to replace the previous agent they lost using the *exact* same cover story and amazingly she gets captured too. Which means the hero has to rescue her now. Except he's too late, causing him to take the supercopter on a massive killing spree of the "bad guys".

To be honest, everything that is wrong with this, is common to pretty much everything made in the 80s. The recent reboot of Knight Rider has shown that fixing the character defects doesn't harm the concepts though, so it's possible that if they remade this for a modern audience we'd get something just as cheesy but with more believeable characters.

It has made me want to watch some of the show again, cos I can't remember what sort of storylines they had. There's not really much a helicopter can do, except blowing stuff up. The bit I do remember is that the hero also steals the helicopter in the end, but unlike the so called villian, he pimps it out to the US government, so they don't object. Pretty crazy if you ask me :)

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I got the first series of Airwolf on DVD a while back and loved it to bits. So cheesy and full of cliche and, as you mentioned, the prejudicial overtones of that era. Apparently the other series are much weaker as the lead actor struggled with alcoholism so I didn't want to spoil my journey down memory lane.

I've got some Knight Rider too (forgot how vague the back-story was with that) and must get the A-Team and Streethawk one day...