STARRING: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman, Warren Clarke, Ronald Lacey, Kenneth Colley, Stefan Schnabel   

1982, 124 Minutes, Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Description: Clint Eastwood plays a retired fighter pilot who is enlisted by the U.S. government to infiltrate the Soviet Union (back in the days when it was still an Evil Empire) and steal an ultra-top-secret fighter plane with all kinds of superior capabilities (back when the Stealth bomber was still a struggling prototype).

"As if Kafka invented video games," one critic remarked of Firefox upon its release. But that makes the movie seem more interesting than it really is.

The Soviets (the movie being made in the early 1980s) have developed a high-tech fighter jet plane that its pilot can control via a gizmo that reads his or her mind. Obviously this sort of thing leaves the Americans a bit behind in the arms race, so they concoct a plan to steal the plane from the Russkies.

The only catch is that since the jet plane is of Russian origin, its pilot must think in Russian to control it. Not too many pilots like that in the USAF, they get Clint Eastwood to steal the plane for them. A job for Clint? No doubt, but the character played by Eastwood is a retired burnt-out post-traumatic stress syndrome case prone to epileptic fits induced by incidents he experienced as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam war . . .

Firefox is about 70 percent Le Carre spy thriller and 30 percent Star Wars-like dog fights in Russian airspace. The Star Wars analogy isn't redundant: John Dykstra who did the special effects for Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica supervised the effects for Firefox as well. Impressive as they might be, the effects ultimately cannot rescue the film from being a slow-paced and long-winded affair . . .



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