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Fighter Pilot Movies

Posted by aaron on June 25, 2008

Like advertising executives, moviemakers know that if you want to make money, put fighter pilots in your production. Hollywood has been making fighter pilot movies as early as 1930 with the release of Dawn Patrol and Howard Hughes’s Hell’s Angels
Fighter pilots in movies always save the day and quite often, save the world. Women in fighter pilot movies always pretend as if they’re not interested in the fighter pilots but in reality they yearn to talk with them, be touched by them, made love to by them. Movies about fighter pilots always kickass, well, usually kickass. Of course, some fighter pilot movies are better than others. Here’s our list of the five worst and five best fighter pilot movies of all time along with a quick summary of the movie and our justification of why they belong where we put them.

The Five Worst

5. Jet Pilot 1957

Summary: US jet pilot, played by John Wayne, ordered to befriend defecting Soviet female jet pilot. She has plans to convince him to return with her to the USSR.
Justification: Corny acting. Corny story. Corny dialogue. Each in their own jet, he takes her out to check on her flying abilities. She’s amazed at how tight he can turn. Wow.
4. Star Wars 1977
Summary: Rebel forces battle the evil galactic empire. A young, neophyte, Luke Skywalker, discovers his ties to the Jedi Knight order and becomes a major force against the attack on the empires ultimate weapon, the Deathstar.
Justification: Luke turns out to be a natural, kickass X-wing fighter pilot, even though he cheats and uses “the force.” After all, anyone can be a kickass X-wing fighter pilot. As long as C3PO pulls your ass out of tight scrapes repeatedly. Luke doesn’t know it but he has incestual desires for Princess Leia.
3. Iron Eagle 1986
Summary: Son of fighter pilot captured in Middle East, convinces fighter pilot Colonel to help him carry out rescue by stealing a couple F-16’s, get them all the way from California to Middle East then kickass on evil Middle East dudes.
Justification: Doug, the son, who’s about 18 years old, turns out to be natural, kickass fighter pilot (sound familiar), especially when listening to music. Chappy, the Colonel, also kicks ass. After all, anyone can be a kickass fighter pilot.
2. Afterburn 1992
Summary: TV movie. Sympathetic theme. F-16 fighter pilot killed in crash. His wife takes on the US military and General Dynamics to expose a cover-up 
Justification: TV movies suck. Too much emphasis on fighter pilot wife not enough on fighter pilot. Need more fighter pilot damnit!

1. Red Flag: The Ultimate Game 1981
Summary: TV movie. Fighter pilot deploys to Red Flag with his squadron. He develops “The Move” which can defeat any air-to-air adversary. Practices “The Move” in his hotel room with a big ass F-4 model. Uses “The Move” on his Aggressor buddy causing Aggressor buddy to lose control of his jet and crash.
Justification: TV movies suck. Stupid dialog. Walking out of Aggressor building with his Aggressor buddy, F-4 driver says “Nice HQ you got there.” HQ? William Devane, the actor who played Aggressor buddy, when interviewed about the movie was asked if he wanted his kids to grow up to be fighter pilots, he said, “Hell no, they’re a bunch of egotistical jerks.”

The Five Best

5. Transformers 2007

Summary: Strange mechanical creatures, some good, some evil, who can transform themselves into any machine battle on Earth to obtain an all-powerful cube and thus tip the balance of power.
Justification: Way kickass special affects. Kickass A-10’s beating on some weird, evil, scorpion-like Transformer. Even while F-22 Raptor pilots are battling evil Raptor Transformer they save the day by knocking down Megatron, allowing good guys on the ground to implant device that blows up the evil Transformer leader and, really, when you think about it, probably save the world. 
4. Top Gun 1986
Summary: Renegade US Navy F-14 fighter pilot, Maverick, goes to Top Gun school with goal of being number one graduate. Iceman is a dick. Goose gets his noggin smacked during ejection and is morted. Evil mystery MiG threatens carrier group. 
Justification: All the classic kickass fighter pilot stereotypes. Super nova egos, endlessly competitive, hated by ground guys, but with a soft, caring side that allows Maverick to get the hot chick instructor. Maverick, kicksass on evil mystery MiG, shows up prick competitor, Iceman, and saves the day.
3. Fly Boys 2006
Summary: During WW I young Americans travel to France to join the Lafayette Escadrille. They battle evil German adversaries. Actually only one is evil, the rest are the expected chivalrous knights of the sky. 
Justification: Kickass special affects. Hot French chick falls in love with fighter pilot hero but to no avail. The hero, although he appears about to die, tricks evil German ace, who strafes downed pilots on the ground, and takes out the bastard in unique fashion and saves the day.
2. Stealth 2005
Summary: US Navy future stealth jet fighter pilots battle the evil stealth drone that decides it can go out on its own and kickass.
Justification: Lt Kara Wade played by Jessica Biel in a skintight flight suit and hard body swimsuit scene. Schawing!! Lt Wade and flying mates track down evil drone and take him out, thus saving the day.
1. Independence Day 1996
Summary: Evil alien force attempts to take over the world. Quirky scientist has idea how to defeat them with help of Marine fighter pilot. US President, former fighter pilot, and bunch of old, retired and washed up fighter pilots jump in Navy Hornets to battle evil alien force.
Justification: Movie ends with US President, quirky scientist and Marine fighter pilot all in g-suits, harnesses, smoking cigars, typical fighter pilot strut. Their women are hot for them; understandable and very realistic. President, old fighter pilots, quirky scientist and Marine fighter pilot have defeated evil aliens and saved the world. 


Posted by dmutant on
Jet Pilot was cool. Why? Janet Leigh...! Pretty much the same rationale you used for the Stealth movie. lol
And General Yeager flew the X-1 for the movie. The aircraft had a white ventral and dorsal stripe for the film (if I recall correctly) and was displayed in the NASM like that for years.

Red Flag/Ultimate Game was cool because it featured F-4E's and F-5's!
Just about the first time they were seen on TV not in a newsreel bombing a target in Vietnam. Plus it told (albeit poorly) the Red Flag story.
And for a brief while Red Flag staff at Nellis were answering the phones, "Red Flag - Ultimate Game."
It was uncool because of Barry Bostwick.
But it redeemed itself with William Devane - who shows good sense in raising his kids lol.
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