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Flight of the Intruder

Danny Glover , Willem Dafoe , John Milius    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Time has been kind to Flight of the Intruder, a rousing aviation-action adventure that looks better now than it did to critics who panned it in 1991. Perhaps they were expecting a Tom Clancy-ish blockbuster (producer Mace Neufeld oversaw the Jack Ryan franchise), but director John (Conan the Barbarian) Milius had something potentially more substantial in mind. The first 75 minutes are pure Milius: Macho bluster, male bonding among ill-fated pilots and Naval bombardiers, and a Big Wednesday-like passion for dangerous fun. But Milius's favorite topics have sharper teeth here: He's made a scathing anti-Vietnam film that still honors the bravery of soldiers who do their job even when the job itself seems pointless. That's why ace Brad Johnson (why didn't he become a huge star?) and maverick bombardier Willem Dafoe plot a renegade mission, bombing a Hanoi arms depot with their low-altitude A-6 Intruder in the movie's pyrotechnical climax. Fringe benefits abound, including early roles for Tom Sizemore, Ving Rhames, and David Schwimmer in his big-screen debut, three years before Friends and looking like the dweeby grandchild of his Band of Brothers martinet. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is a great depiction of the air war in Vietnam in 1972. It has it's funny moments, it's serious moments, but all in all, it's a great action movie with a great plot and storyline. Also, since Willem Dafoe is one of my favorite actors, that was another plus for this film. Danny Glover put in a hell of a performance as the skipper of the air crew, and Brad Johnson and Willem Dafoe put in excellent performances as the pilot/bombardier team. This is a movie worth five stars.
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By T-Rexx
Yeah, yeah... I agree with many other viewers. The movie storyline is not as good as in the book in two areas: 1. the in-depth description of its characters -I guess it's just too hard a job to explore the complexity of human personalities within 90mn; 2. the ending which, in the book, is a bit more in line with the actual war in Vietnam.
And also, that's true that the special effects are somewhat dated now...
But boy, being a professional of aviation, living, breathing, dreaming of it every day of my life, I can't applaude enough to the fact of being able to watch a movie that DOES feature combat aircraft! Just count the number of good action movies that actually show these machines, and I bet you'll be able to count them on the fingers of, say, 2 hands. That's just to stay on the optimistic side of things.
Flight of the Intruder is a real cool movie in terms of aircraft footage. You are "behind the wheel", at times you are literally in control of the aircraft. Your heart pumps faster when this ugly looking -and sounding- SAM detection signal flashes to and screams at the crew. And watch these unforgettable scenes with the A-1 Skyraiders, the famous "Sandys" at the end of the film! The shots, the sounds... Everything contributes to raising the hair of your neck with passion!
The movie itself is pretty well documented too, if only a bit too simplified. Looks like the film was technically supported by both the Navy and the Air Force. The pilots' jargon is accurate, and so is the overall A-6 bombing philosophy.
And after viewing it, you'll sit back and start reflecting on it, and I'm pretty sure that you'll end telling yourself: "These fly-boys in Vietnam... They sure had real guts". Hats and heads down, ladies and gentlemen, and respect for courage!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better then Top Gun June 21 2004
This movie should have been better then Top Gun.
In everyones mind though we all want the speed and cockyness of
a fighter pilot.
But, as the line states,"Fighter pukes make movies, bomber pilots make history."
I believe that because this movie wasn't as big as Top Gun is
because there was a little love story in Intruder, that was not
as big Top Guns steamy love scenes.
This movie to me was better then Top Gun because of the absence
of a steamy romance, just a hint.
This movie, should be considered a classic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Action, Some Truth Jan. 21 2004
Because my dad was a A-6 Bombadier/Navigator in Vietnam, I have a bias regarding this movie. It is highly entertaining and action-packed, however, the truth of the story lies somewhere in the middle and there's not much of it in this screenplay.
I'm sure that many of the Navy's aviators in Vietnam grew weary of hitting "suspected" truck parks, oil refineries and missle sites, but I have yet to hear tales from my dad or his buddies about anyone who decided to fight their own war and fly through downtown Hanoi in order to destroy a SAM (surface-to-air missle) storage area all on their own.
Guys got shot down alot during the war, yes, but they were mostly Air Force guys (that's meant to be a dig!), and rarely a Navy A-6. In this movie, we see several from one squadron on the same cruise go down. Not too realistic. The quickly referred to "Operation Linebacker" was a real mission (proud to say that my dad was in the first plane over N Vietnam on that mission) and followed up by Linebacker II later on. It was not, however, inspired because of what the two lead characters in this movie did.
The flying is pretty realistic though and it is nice to see the not-as-sexy-as-a-fighter-jet Grumman A-6 Intruder in a movie; I give it three stars for that. Still...I would rather listen to real bomber pilots and b/n's relate their adventures in 'Nam and aboard ship.
If you want a real Vietnam movie, stick with "Apocalypse Now", "Full Metal Jacket" and "Platoon".
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By forrie
The A-6 was the United States Navy's Medium (A) Attack bomber during the Vietnam conflict. It flew at tree-top level in any weather at night and alone. The A-6 had NO defensive weapons. It was called - The INTRUDER.
That is the opening statement to an outstanding action movie. The thought of flying unarmed over hostile territory circa 1972 presents a very exciting war tale indeed.
Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe and Brad Johnson are a great ensemble cast.
The "Flight of the Intruder" based on Stephen Coonts (former Naval Aviator) novel of the same name. Coonts has written an entire fictionalized series based on Jake Grafton (played by Brad Johnson) exciting Naval career. The "Flight of the Intruder" was the first in that series.
Summary: Young Naval Aviator Lt. Jake Grafton pilots the infamous A (Attack) - 6 Intruder over 1972 Vietnam. You get to experience lots of great aerial photography, plenty of action and the unbelievable daring of these A-6 Naval pilots. This includes low level (200 feet) bombing missions (dodging all kinds of enemy fire). "Iron Hand" the art of an Armed A-6 versus' SAM (Surface to Air Missles). They shoot first up to 4 missles before you can attack them!!! Great stuff!!!!
Paramount's WideScreen DVD Collection presents the viewer with some OUTSTANDING MOVIES at an economical price. The only short fall one Extra is the trailer and the Enhanced 16:9 WideScreen HDTV is some what grainy on my 55" Home Theatre Screen. The sound is outstanding!
Overall this is a great war movie for the collector!! This DVD is worth the price of admission. Enjoy
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the first pick for movie night
Great book. Not so great movie and the small screen does not anything to this one either. With so many good and great war movies to choose from, this one can be saved for much... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2003 by John Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Motion Picture/Poor DVD
With Flight of the Intruder many other reviewers have tended to focus on the differences between the film and the original novel. Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2003 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars "Listen to the Rhythm of the Traffic Over Saigon..."
Cry havoc and let slip the soul of Willem Dafoe into the savage wasteland. As Cole, the wild one with the napalm breath, he spins pulp jargon into a passion play paradigm of... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2003 by Michael A. Deluca
3.0 out of 5 stars could have been a 10
My favorite part of the film is when the Sky Raiders come flying down the valley.
But had they stuck to the main story,
The war, The air war, The bravery of the flight... Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2003 by R. L. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Not totally disappointing but could have been much better...
Jake Grafton (Brad Johnson) and Virgil Cole (Willem Dafoe) are Navy A-6 Intruder bomber pilots in the Vietnam war. Read more
Published on July 21 2003 by Kyle Tolle
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the way it was.
This is the way it really was. I used to fly F4s of the Oriskany back in '66. Everyday (and most nights) I'd watch the A6s queueing up for takeoffs and traps. I flew with the best. Read more
Published on May 11 2003 by L. Herrera
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but where is the DVD ?
This movie is a great movie. But why has it not come out on DVD!? Come on Paramount!
Published on Feb. 10 2003 by Aaron Amos
5.0 out of 5 stars Intruder Rocks The House !
I am a big fan of action and war type movies and I can tell you that this movie is my number 1 favorite war movie. Read more
Published on Dec 2 2002 by J. Boose
5.0 out of 5 stars Johnson and Dafoe hit the mark
I am an avid war historian, and althought this movie falls short of the reality of the vietnam conflict. Read more
Published on July 29 2002
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