Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A Few Good Men &
Determined Women

Airboss on IMDb
US Banner

Plot Overview

female patriotAmerican Bald Eaglefishesat the libraryoverwhelming
textWhen a terrorist's stash of weapons grade Plutonium is traced to an island in the South China Sea, Washington brass cobble together a joint military cum civilian task force to recover it and arrest the broker. Their success leads to further missions involving Top gun Frank White (Frank Zagarino), Special Ops Commander Vlad Kotchev (John Christian), Navy SEAL Bone Conn (Kayle Watson), and two FBI agents (Caroline Strong & Jerry Kokich.) This uneasy alliance is exacerbated by the grunts' ignorance of the fibbies' operational procedures and the G–men's lack of rigorous training. Further­more, having a woman on the team doesn't set well with all the men, her professional performance not­with­standing. Their objections seem to echo a damsel in a Stone Cody Western:

Jane was able to take over the equipment and good will of the restaurant, and the lease on the building, for very little money. There was some comment in town over the fact that Josh Venner's niece was running a restaurant, but Jane met that attitude with smiling equanimity and the surprise settled into the immediate popularity for the place. (47)


card playersThe military action lends itself to comparison with one of Kenny Rogers's songs concerning a chance encounter with “The Gambler” on a train. He offered his fellow passenger the advice that “the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep.” The refrain of the song goes:

You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away, Know when to run. You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

This wisdom of the gambling man's repartee is old as the hills and was passed on by a raconteur, Agur in Proverbs 30:1, whose four meta­phors offered the same life advice as did Rogers's Gambler. That we find in, (Prov. 30:29-31) “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A grey­hound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

We have Agur's “lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any,” and we have Rogers's “know[ing] when to hold 'em.” In our movie when the trans­port sub USS Texas was discovered by a Chinese Akula class sub patrolling the picket line in the Formosa Strait, the Chinks threatened to blow the Yanks out of the water. The American captain wouldn't back down (“Texas does not run, mister”) but proceeded to “Snooker that chump out of his socks.”

We have Agur's “king, against whom there is no rising up,” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to fold 'em.” A king who knows when to give in to his subjects doesn't experience any uprising. When the Americans conducting ground surveillance in Afghanistan were tumbled by a goat­herd, they held off on neutralizing him as, “He's a civilian.” Left alive he was bound to sound the alarm but they had their rules of engagement and didn't want to bring them­selves that kind of grief.

dwarf goatWe have Agur's “he goat also” and we have Rogers's “Know[ing] when to walk away.” After being aided by the Mujahadeen in capturing their target, the Americans walked away from the former's never-ending battle with the Taliban.

We have Agur's “greyhound” and Rogers's “Know[ing] when to run.” When the Americans interrupted the trade off of the Pu–239 and the bad guy made a mad dash with it to his waiting submarine (“Get this f_____g boat under­way, NOW!”) the Americans pursued after him post haste.

The gambler gave the advice:

You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

There's some post-action evaluation (“You did a good job back there”) of the woman's performance (“One professional to another?”) as they're being spirited away by copter (“Absolutely.”)

Production Values

Uncle Sam” (1997) was directed by J. Christian Ingvordsen. It was written by Matthew M. Howe and J. Christian Ingvordsen. It stars Frank Zagarino, Kayle Watson and J. Christian Ingvordsen (as John Christian.) This last had his part down pat and played it effort­lessly. Watson couldn't seem to find his bearings and as a troubled soldier was a fish out of water. Caroline Strong over­played her part as a woman out to prove her­self in a man's world; we get the point. The other actors did okay in their non-demanding, military roles.

Kaboom!MPAA rated it PG–13 for military violence. Howe's photography is sublime; he keeps a steady hand on the camera. The editing though jerky blends in with the changeable action motif. Lots of stock military footage is used, often with disregard to minutiae; perfectionists take note. The military action is done well with personal drama playing second fiddle. Runtime is 1½ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

business meeting“Airboss” seems to showcase the military option for both men and women. The original meeting of the various government entities is presided over by a woman whose word is respected out­right. On the aircraft carrier en route, a helicopter lands to disgorge the female judge to swear in the soldiers for civilian duty. A female grunt holds her own in snarky repartee with the boys. Then when she tries to contribute her two cents to the pow wow with the Mujahadeen, she is told by the towl­head, “You speak only when spoken to,” confirmed by her American counterpart, “When in Rome—” Although she did her job well, she was admittedly stretched at what to the men was a walk in the park, while Conn was emotionally vulnerable to taking needless risks on account of terrorists having bombed his beloved wife. Women are seen as cutesies flocking around the soldier boys, and some­times marrying them. Both Arabs and GI's fight like men to protect their interests at home, but the American culture is more integrated. The Arabs aren't put down necessarily; theirs is just a different perspective.

The gender-role drama is left to us what to make of it. There is one Negro in uniform smartly manning some monitoring equipment, which shows that the service was integrated and eventually included women. The military action is continual and well done and can provide solid entertainment if that's your bag. This is not armchair drama but rowdy action at its nonstop finest.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Cody, Stone. Gun-Smoke Cure. Copyright © 1935, 1958 by Jefferson House, Inc. New York: Jefferson House, 1958. Print.

Rogers, Kenny. Songwriter Don Schlitz. “The Gambler.” Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Pub. LLC. Web.