Blue Thunder (1:34:36) Blue Thunder
Director: John Badham
Writers: Dan O’Bannon
, Don Jakoby, and Dean Riesner
Scheider plays police helicopter pilot Frank Murphy. A Vietnam Vet with PTSD
–who is already on thin ice with his superior Captain Braddock (an awesome Warren Oates) for a recent aerial “crack-up”–Murphy and his new partner, Officer Richard Lymangood, witness the murder of a politician under strange circumstances. Murphy and Lymangood are soon drawn into a government conspiracy centering on the eponymous “Blue Thunder” helicopter, a serious escalation in the firepower available to civilian law enforcement
. Malcolm McDowell makes an appearance as Murphy’s old nemesis from Vietnam, Colonel Cochrane, and the two must eventually do rotor-battle over the early 80′s dystopia that is industrial L.A.
Roy Scheider Blue Thunder
Scheider gives the show away from the beginning. Attending a demonstration of Blue Thunder’s offensive capacity, he’s the first to call bullshit on the fact that a gigantic Gatling gun is not the most efficient way to separate terrorists from civilians. When his trainers describe the helicopter’s various stealth, spy, and constitution-shredding capabilities, he makes the point that all efforts to “control the ground from the air” are a joke. The original “Black Helicopter” of militia legend is nothing more than an effort by the American government to import the Vietnam War and its doctrinal failures into the continental U.S. Of course Scheider oohs and aahs over the thing once he gets to fly it, but he consistently reminds the audience that the whole project is a misconceived waste of time and money.
He almost doesn’t bother to flee the government conspiracy that takes his partner’s life, he’s so busy being a wise-ass.
But the real kicker is director Badham’s idea of a worst-case scenario intrusion of military force and intelligence gathering into civilian policing. Can one helicopter with a dial-up Internet connection and a machine gun really be that frightening after all we’ve been through – the Patriot Act, the military satellites, the NSA farming our emails for data? And the difference isn’t only one of degree. Badham imagines an America where the Watts race riots have frightened the government so badly that it conspires against its own people to maintain its authority. But what’s that compared to a panicked nation that begs its government to assume these same coercive powers?
read more: http://wherebadmovieslive.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/796/