Here's one of the most exciting, nonstop action-adventure hits since TOP GUN! When an international enemy turns to high-tech weaponry, the U.S. Army enlists the aid of the Apaches -- America's elite airborne task force spe... more »cially trained for aerial assault! Flying the world's most advanced attack helicopters, these hotshot 'Fire Birds' battle an evasive foe -- hovering, diving, and dodging death on dangerous secret missions inside hostile territory! Starring Nicolas Cage (MOONSTRUCK), Tommy Lee Jones (THE PACKAGE), and sexy actress Sean Young (NO WAY OUT), FIRE BIRDS is an explosive action-epic, full of aerial gunfights and combat acrobatics ... audiences will be blown away by every thrilling second of FIRE BIRDS!« less
"I caught "Firebirds" in the theater during my first annual training with the National Guard after a 3 year Active Duty hitch. We were at Corpus Christi Army Depot doing what? Working on helicopters, natch. About 6 of us piled into a taxi and rode downtown to the el-cheapo theater for 90 minutes of cheesy salutes, whacky dialog, goofy actors and some pretty darn good Apache flying.
Is it accurate? No. Ask any Navy F-14 pilot how he felt in 1986 about Tom Cruise's adaptation of reality and he'll say the same thing that a lot of the Army Aviation folks have already said about Firebirds. That's because in Hollywood, in general, if "accuracy" or "correctness" gets in the way of "story," story generally wins out. (The obvious mold-breaker here being "Band of Brothers", but that had more to do with the original story being highly accurate) Heck, Top Gun's technical advisor says he stil has a hard time showing his face at F-14 reunions. But he learned quickly that while some of the things they show in a movie might not be accurate to the people who do it day in and day out, its still a movie and they have to make it look stylish or whatever. How exciting would watching an Apache crew go over their 10-20 minute long startup procedure really be? No, they hop in the aircraft, flip a couple switches, throw their brain buckets on, suddenly the rotor blades are at flight RPM and off they go. I know that's not reality, but I'm not watching this movie for reality.
With Firebirds, sometimes you just have to put your brain in neutral and enjoy Sean Young in a flight suit that is 3 sizes too small, Tommy Lee Jones going "full-tilt boogie for freedom and justice," and Nicholas Cage laying out droll one-liners for a paycheck.
At the very least, in the Spring of 1990, six guys from a National Guard unit in Michigan had a great time in a cheap theater in Texas hollering at the screen, hooting at Sean Young, and cheering when the bad guys go down in flames. What more can you ask for?
Time to go buy the DVD for my "cheesy Saturday afternoon movies" collection.
(Funny side note: When Tommy Lee Jones is doing his early-morning run on the flight line and all of his trainees come running past him, that's the Apache Training Brigade's flight line at Ft. Hood Army Airfield. During the Gulf War, in January 1991, I was there for an Apache course, and our smoke-break area was on the exterior stairs of the hangar pictured in the background at the very start of that scene. Kinda funny how that works!)"
Fire up that engine for a good movie
retrowens | Alabama, USA | 12/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jake Preston (Nicolas Cage) is a helicopter pilot training for war against a famous nemesis. Jake is the most skilled flyer of everybody, but he has a team of other helicopter flyers behind him including Brad Little (Tommy Lee Jones), who helps Jake train to be an even better pilot. I thought "Fire Birds" was a good action movie. It might not be the best of its kind, but it's certainly not a bad movie. The training sequences and the final showdown between the Fire Birds and their major enemy is exciting. If you like action movies and especially if you like flying movies, I recommend getting "Fire Birds.""
Fire Birds is an Apache Top Gun!
C. Smiley | San Antonio, Texas | 12/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes it's corny but it is really a great movie! From Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of a John Wayne character to Nicholas Cage's corny hero, finally coupled with the sexiest role I've seen Sean Young in..its a fun movie. Don't expect an artistically significant movie, have fun instead. I love it!"
The first all helicopter action movie.
AJ | Delaware, USA | 02/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So it isn't terribly original and the plot isn't exactly ingenuous. This movie leaves Top Gun far behind. At least it doesn't have a corny Freudian father-trauma or mysterious foreign powers. It's enjoyable to see and for me, that is what counts. The actors, especially Jones make the most of their parts and the action scenes are excellent. If every movie had to be based on a brand new idea, hollywood would have been out of business a long time ago."
If you thought Top Gun was great....
Dr. A. Ghaffar | West Midlands, UK | 07/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this movie when it was aired on TV in the UK as "Wings of the Apache". I watched it "by accident" and thought hey, this looks cool... Nicholas Cage & Tommy Lee Jones make a great screnn partnership and there's no pretence or over-the-top Hollywood feel to this like movies such as Top Gun- simple story, amusing scenes, good action... a great recipe for an entertaining 2 hours if you just want to relax and not hurt your brain. I think if you've enjoyed the likes of Airwolf & Blue Thunder then you'll find this a charming surprise. And at this price, you can't go wrong! Come on October!!!"