Brad Johnson plays Jake Grafton, one of the top A-6 Intruder pilots, stationed on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam in 1972. He is frustrated by the useless missions he is constantly sent on, fruitlessly bombing trees. His frustration turns to rage when his bombardier is killed during one of these missions. He is subsequently paired up with borderline rogue bombardier Willem Dafoe, and before long these two cowboys decide to perform their own unilateral mission into the heart of Hanoi, whatever their commanding officer (Danny Glover) might think. Based on a novel by Stephen Coonts (who deserves better), and produced by Mace Neufeld, Flight of the Intruder has the same handsome production values that grace Neufeld’s Tom Clancy movies. There are some nice flying sequences, but the plot meanders far too much, and the climax is so silly it comes dangerously close to the Hot Shots films, wiping out any trace of tension.
I have mixed feelings about the soundtrack, which has some truly excellent aspects, while disappointing in others. The environmental effects could certainly be stronger (though they are present), and some obvious opportunities to deploy the rear speakers (airplane engines,explosions) are missed. On the other hand, the left-right separation is purely and simply superb.The movement between the two sides is constant, and with a bit more volume on rear speakers,the audio here could have been something really special. One other difficulty is a slight gurgle in the dialogue about 56 minutes in.
A full, 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The flesh tones are excellent, and the colours are very strong. The print is in pristine condition, with no grain or edge enhancement issues that I noticed. The colours are very rich, which makes the film a pleasure on the eyes. This is especially true of the night attack on Hanoi, where the contrasts and deep blacks make for some spectacular effects.
None at all.
The film seems to have ambitions, but by and large fails to meet them. The action scenesaren’t bad, though, so if you need a military fix and have seen everything else, you shouldn’t be too disappointed by this. Fans of Stephen Coonts, however, should be prepared for a letdown.