Fire Birds, also known as Wings of the Apache in some countries, is a 1990 military action thriller film directed by David Green and starring Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones and Sean Young. A notable fact is that the movie’s production was assisted by the US military, and that parts of the movie were shot in Fort Hood.
The movie was a critical and commercial failure, having a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and making only $14 million out of a budget of $22 million.
Roger Ebert said that "It was tempting to say that I might have liked this movie more if I’d never seen Top Gun; but the fact is, if Top Gun had never been made, Fire Birds would still have seemed like a completely ordinary movie."
Jake Preston (Cage) is a US Army AH-1 Cobra pilot who takes part in a joint DEA-Army operation to take down Bisante, a South American drug cartel. All attempts at attacking the cartel’s compound have been foiled by mercenary Eric Stoller (Bert Rhine), who pilots a Scorpion attack helicopter.
Preston, who survived one such attack, was enlisted to take part in a training program for the Army’s new AH-64 Apache gunship with the help of his instructor, Brad Little (Jones). At the same time, Preston attempts to win back his ex-girlfriend and OH-58 Kiowa pilot Billie Guthrie (Young).
Why It Sucks
- Hilariously bad dialogue, complete with sexual innuendo and cheesy (or lame) one-liners.
- Hit-and-miss helicopter battle sequences. Despite the impressive production values (see above), sometimes they can be confusing because of the way they were edited and filmed.
- Terribly hammy acting, especially from Nicolas Cage.
- Uninspired soundtrack courtesy of David Newman.
- Extremely laughable and paper-thin storyline.