This edition of That’s so 80s gets its retro action flick on with hidden gem cult classic IRON EAGLE. Think of an 80s YA version of TOP GUN and you have a pretty good idea what’s in store. Our hero, raised on an airbase, flies off to rescue his dad behind enemy lines teaming up with a retired fighter pilot. Throw in a bucket of cliches, some totally 80s sidekicks, a prom, explosions, and jet fights, then you’ve got a taste of what’s in store with the first chapter of a VHS b-movie franchise.
Rob and Dan breakdown what they love about this retro gem, from the 80s fashion to the 80s sensibilities.
Check out the full review here
I chose this movie as our next review mainly due to my new discovery of the works of fellow 70’s kid Ernest Cline who has written two best selling novels especially for my generation.
I already discussed his book Ready Player One last month because of its connection to Wargames (1983), so now it is time to talk about his second novel Armada.
One of Armada’s themes directly references many sci-fi films of the 70’s and 80’s but among some of the more obscure movies mentioned was this one due to its use of simulated dogfighting.
The truth is, I personally didn’t recall that scene and despite being integral to the (silly) plot, if you blink, you may actually miss it.
Jason Gedrick has always been a fine actor and here he gets the cocky high school senior attitude perfect.
Louis Gossett Jr. also is very good as the experienced fighter pilot willing to take a chance when freedom and justice are at stake.
The bad guy played by David Suchet, is too one dimensional and could be named (fill in the blank dictator) and it wouldn’t make much of a difference because his direct influence on the story is minimal.
The plot is VERY 80’s and I must say is too silly to even try to justify that it’s any good. 🙂
But… If one suspends belief it is possible to enjoy everything that is presented to us.
Yes, the story feels like a dream that most teenagers could have about taking heroic action when needed, but that’s what escapism is all about 🙂
I must say that I enjoyed seeing numerous familiar known actors as the kids who help out Gedrick’s character in fulfilling his mission.
Larry B. Scott, Jerry Levine, Michael Bowen, Shawnee Smith and Robbie Rist (Oliver from the Brady Bunch) all are memorable here as part of Gedrick’s group of friends.
It’s quite interesting to think that this movie and Top Gun (1986) both came out in the same year, showing two very different aspects of US military aviation.
All in all this is a fun movie as long as you don’t take it too seriously.
Now – 3/5
80’s me – 4/5
How 80’s? – 3/5
Who remembers having to manually wind an audio cassette
Typical 80’s teen, old car, dark sunglasses
Staple actors re-used as friends in an 80’s movie
We all wish we had our own plane to fly with our friends
Stereotypical 80’s movie dictator
Prom scenes MUST always be included in 80’s high school movies
With Proms come unique 80’s tuxedos and dresses
80’s graphics at its best
Boring 80’s graduation
Cousin Oliver is here to save the day like he tried to save The Brady Bunch from being cancelled
80’s movies featuring Middle East countries always use the same kind of shot with the muezzin blasting in the background