Executive Decision [1996]

Director: Stuart Baird, Jonathan S. Kaplan
Stars: Kurt Russell, Halle Berry, Ray Liotta, Madeleine Stowe
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 134 minutes

Despite Steven Seagal's imposing presence in this enjoyable thriller, Kurt Russell turns out to be the real star as an American intelligence expert who finds himself leading a strike force against Islamic terrorists who have seized in-flight control of a 747 jetliner with 400 passengers. It's not all that different from Air Force One, but the formula story perks right along with considerable suspense as Russell's cohorts (Oliver Platt, Joe Morton) try to defuse a chemical bomb that could wipe out (you guessed it) the entire Eastern seaboard. John Leguizamo plays one of the U.S. commandos attempting to stop the violent hijackers, and Halle Berry costars as a flight attendant who risks her life to assist Russell's rescue team. As action movies go, Executive Decision marked an impressive directorial debut for veteran film editor Stuart Baird. --Jeff Shannon

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