The plot revolves around a rookie Secret Service agent who unexpectedly finds herself tasked with guarding the president aboard Air Force One, which is hijacked by terrorists disgruntled over an energy deal.
Although unfamiliar faces dominate the cast, fans of Dascha Polanco will delight in her appearance, showcasing a remarkable transformation. However, her screen time is disappointingly limited.
One refreshing aspect is witnessing characters actually utilize available weapons and ammunition, a detail often overlooked in similar films.
Stick around during the end credits for a compelling speech by the president.
Director James Bamford, known for his expertise in stunts, brings his action-packed prowess to “Air Force One Down.” However, the screenplay by Steven Paul, known for his work on unconventional titles like “Baby Geniuses,” results in a disjointed blend of talent, leading to a film that begins as a derivative of “Die Hard” before devolving into a generic action flick.
Katherine McNamara shines as Allison, a resilient soldier tasked with protecting the president alongside her uncle, played by Anthony Michael Hall. The story unfolds as they face off against Astovian terrorists led by General Rodinov, portrayed by Rade Sherbedgia, who aims to sabotage an oil deal.
Despite its limited budget, the film effectively utilizes confined spaces, primarily focusing on Air Force One. However, a mid-story decision to shift to an Astovian forest interrupts the momentum, slowing down the pace and diluting the tension.
McNamara impresses with her action sequences, but the climax inside a concrete fortress feels uninspired, lacking the intensity of earlier scenes. Sherbedgia’s portrayal fails to elevate the antagonist, resulting in a lackluster resolution.
“Air Force One Down” ultimately struggles to maintain its initial momentum, transitioning from a promising airborne thriller to a pedestrian action film with diminished stakes and uninspiring settings.