1980s Iron Eagle (1986)

Published on September 10th, 2012 | by Chris


Iron Eagle (1986)

Movie by:
Sidney J. Furie

Reviewed by:
On September 10, 2012
Last modified:October 2, 2012


Hey, lets steal a pair of armed-to-the-hilt F-16s and go get my dad? Can we? No. Just, no.

So.  As part of the Worst War Movies Challenge I figured I'd pick up one of the old standbys.  1986's Iron Eagle.  The height of "yeah, I don't think so" movies from the 1980s.  I know the rules of the challenge disqualify movies that are historically and/or technically inaccurate.  There is, however, in that respect, a line that can't and must not be crossed.  Iron Eagle crosses it.

Iron Eagle presents a tale which can and would never happen.  Ever.  Not in any universe known to man.  Basically it allows Doug (Jason Gedrick) to plan and execute a mission to rescue his dad (Tim Thomerson! Hey!) from the evil, um, anonymous middle eastern dictator.  With the help of mechanic "Chappy" (Louis Gossett Jr.) and a bunch of the base brats, they manage to get a pair of armed to the teeth F-16s, fly all the way to wherever, expend about ten times the ordnance they are actually carrying, and pull off this rescue mission.

Not only that, but some of the 1980's "technology" they display is so out of line with reality as to be completely laughable.  I can roll with Joshua in WarGames, but to think that the F-16 is going to be communicating commands like "EJECT!" to the pilot through some chintzy little See-and-Spell calculator display?  No.  Just, no.

And then there is the whole "airplane" race near the beginning.  Yeah, what?  The FAA tends to seriously frown on such things, especially after Doug ditches the plane off the runway.  Prepare your you-know-what Dougie boy because they're coming for YOU.....  And your dad doesn't have enough pull to get you into the cockpit for a training mission, son.  Sorry.  Neither do you get a full run of the base, right down to the CO's office.  Yeah, not happening.

Oh, the biggest "hey what?" moment for me?  When they cross the coast (obviously in California, so which coast again?), and then apparently time warp into the future to suddenly arrive over the Mediterranean.  You just flew an F-16 half way around the world, refueled only once, and nobody apparently cares?  What?

At least the soundtrack is decent, though.  And Oliver from the Brady Bunch is in it.

Honestly, its not *that* badly acted or written.  It's just a constant line of events that requires such a huge suspension of disbelief (or ignorance of how things actually work) that it can't dig its way out of.  I can let it go if we are talking about, I dunno, "Stripes" or something.  But not like this.

I'm giving this a 2 star rating.  Because there's a certain amount of 80's nostalgia involved here, and I can see how you might be able to enjoy it on the "coming of age" factor alone, but man.  I really don't know how this garners a 4-star on Amazon.  Really.

Here's a taste.

Iron Eagle Iron Eagle
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High-flying, rapid-fire adventure in the tradition of Top Gun starring Louis Gossett, Jr. (Academy Award(r) winning Best Supporting Actor, An Officer And A Gentleman, 1982) and Jason Gedrick (TV's Murder One)...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
  • Shawnee Smith
  • Robbie Rist
  • Louis Gossett Jr.
  • Jason Gedrick


  • Full Screen Version


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Iron Eagle (1986) Chris

Summary: "Hey, lets steal a pair of armed-to-the-hilt F-16s and go get my dad? Can we?" No. Just, no.


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

One Response to Iron Eagle (1986)

  1. Pingback: Iron Eagle II (1988) Review | War Movies

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