Watch This: It’s “Die Hard on the president’s airplane”
Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: The sequel to blatant Die Hard knockoff Olympus Has Fallen hits theaters Friday, so let’s look back on some other Die Hard knockoffs, all of them much better than Olympus Has Fallen.
Air Force One (1997)
A jingoistic fantasy marked by Harrison Ford’s best post-Indiana Jones action performance, Air Force One ups the Die Hard ante by making its one-against-many-terrorists hero the commander in chief. In Wolfgang Petersen’s rah-rah saga, President James Marshall (Ford) tells the world that America is done negotiating with terrorists, and is now re-committing itself to fighting injustice around the world. No sooner has he made that proclamation, however, than Air Force One is hijacked—with him and his wife (Wendy Crewson) and daughter (Liesel Matthews) aboard—by Kazakhstan villains led by Ivan Korshunov …