“[Major Ben-Mufta and Dr. Moffet are watching a scantily clad dancer in a nightclub] I don’t understand what you Westerners see in women with such skinny bodies, in the desert a body like this would wither and die in a matter of hours” – Major Mufta Ben-Kamal
Number of Times Seen – at least 3 times (TV in the 80’s, 2 May 2011 and 22 Aug 2019)
Brief Synopsis – After a top secret Government helicopter is stolen, an experienced Vietnam Veteran pilot is hired to get it back.
My Take on it – I recall loving this show when it was on TV back in the mid-80, but upon revisiting episodes it unfortunately doesn’t stand up very well.
The pilot of this show is pretty mediocre and I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoyed it in the past.
Jan Michael Vincent is great in the lead role of Stringfellow Hawke, but he is the only bright point of light of the cast.
The supporting cast is subpar and even someone like Ernest Borgnine doesn’t have enough to do here in order to shine.
The plot of the film is quite intriguing even if it isn’t presented well enough which is quite a shame.
This was originally a made for TV pilot so it surprised me to see some quite explicit scenes along with very colorful language that wouldn’t be found on TV in the 80’s.
These edits or additions seem to have ben made in order to make the film feel more mainstream, but in reality it actually takes so much away from the story because it doesn’t help make the story flow properly.
As with most of the battles fought during the run of the TV show, the climax is much too short since no man or machine is much of a match for Airwolf and things happen much too rapidly with very little suspense.
Bottom Line – Mediocre film that was the pilot for a fun show that doesn’t hold up well enough after 35 years. Vincent is great in the lead as Stringfellow Hawke, but the rest of the cast here is pretty subpar (even Borgnine). The film actually has an intriguing premise that could have worked so much better if the story was presented better. Being that this was originally a made for TV film, I’m surprised that scenes were added along with more explicit dialogue to try and make it feel more mainstream but that actually makes things even stranger because it’s quite apparent that it has been edited and doesn’t flow properly.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The movie is a re-edited version of the TV series pilot. It also includes some action scenes from the first season. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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