Firefox – Clint Eastwood week

This is Clint Eastwood week. Firefox is currently available on instant Netflix.


PASS: Firefox (1982) – Rated PG

“When the Russians develop a Mach 5 jet with thought-controlled weaponry, the free world needs someone to go steal it from them to maintain the balance of power. Despite suffering from posttraumatic stress as a result of his Vietnam experiences, Mitch Gant (Clint Eastwood), who was once a hotshot pilot and speaks fluent Russian, is given the assignment. Nigel Hawthorne plays a Jewish dissident who aids Gant in his mission.”

“The American is a dead man, First Secretary.”

Yes, this movie is as jingoistic as that quote would lead you to believe. This movie is more groan-inducingly anti-Communist than Red Dawn but sadly not nearly so much cheesy fun.

I am very patriotic but the plot behind this movie is utter rubbish. The first two-thirds of the film involve people comically taking literal and figurative bullets for Gant to get him to steal the jet. I’ll sacrifice my life for Clint – no it’s my turn to to sacrifice my life – get out of the way!

The last third is Gant flying the plane. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to note that of course there is another Firefox (LAZY writing). A particular scene late in the film is literally lifted from Ice Station Zebra (way back in 1968). The plot is ludicrous as it is obvious to the Russians that Gant, an American, has stolen their plane.

Acting is just fine if not Oscar-caliber. Clint capably plays Gant. Nigel Hawthorne lends some weight as Baranovich and it is nice to see the fascinating Freddie Jones as Aubrey.

While Clint is, as always, eminently watchable, there is nothing special to recommend this film.

People Watch: Look for John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers) as Chief Peck.