But how can I, a child of the 80's, hate this ultimate 'boys movie'?
At the time, it made me want to strap myself into the cockpit of an F-16 and go bomb some terrorist country. I found Libya on the map. They seemed like some onery folk at the time. I was ready to drop some hellfire on them 'camel jockeys'.
But I could never get a hold of an F-16.
But judging by some of the reviews here, some lucky peepsqueaks DID manage to get F-16's. So many youths cite this piece of dreck as the reason they joined the airforce and are now doing the will of a commander-in-chief who probably goes back to his ranch, closes the door, and puts the 'Iron Eagle' DVD on!!
Ultimate boys movie indeed.
This doesn't change the fact that 'Iron Eagle' is unabashedly racist. It was mostly filmed in Israel with the IDF and Israeli government providing all the fighter jets AND pilots along with the scenery. All they asked for in return was that the villains be (nameless, faceless, dehumanized) 'Arabs' from a fictional (generic) Arab 'terrorist country'. This demonization of an entire people was (and is) an Israeli government PR campaign to get the American public to see the 'plight of the Jewish people' as they 'struggle' against the 'evil Arab terrorists'.
I would hope the producers of 'Iron Eagle' were duped into going along with this. Because other than that, it is a pretty fine movie. Unlike a lot of 80's action-movie dreck, 'Iron Eagle' actually has likeable characters. Louis Gosset Jr. delivers a fine performance as the 'tough but fair' Colonel 'Chappy' Sinclaire. The action sequences rival and sometimes better the ones in 'Top Gun'. Plus, there is no sappy romance sub-plot to drag this puppy down. This movie is purely a boys film.
So if you can turn your brain (and your conscience) off for an hour and 20 minutes, get a hold of 'Iron Eagle'. But watch out for the sequels. They're bad. Really bad.