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A big-deal, blow-'em-up thriller
"Broken Arrow"

(Click on the images to see slightly larger versions and names.)

Reviewed by John Orr

When I need to get away from the woes of life, there's nothing I like better than escaping to a movie where a lot of stuff gets blowed up real good!!! (To steal a line from SCTV.)

And, ya know, what blows up stuff better than nuclear weapons?

Directed by violence maven John Woo, the film opens with a little cinematic homage to "Raging Bull," and lowers to John Travolta and Christian Slater punching at each other in a boxing ring. Two Air Force pilots doing some sparring.

John Travolta The sparring continues in dialogue, including right up to the point they are flying a B-3 bomber exercise over the Utah desert, and Travolta undertakes to release two unarmed nukes (to waiting confederates below). They fight, Travolta ejects Slater ...

And the action moves to the desert floor. Slater joins forces with a park ranger played by Samantha Mathis, and the two undertake to stop Travolta and his mercenary confederates.

It becomes a game of strategy and tactics and is pretty much a non-stop run of fun and thrills. Lots of guns, hand grenades and other explosives, and lots of vehicles getting blown up, from Humvees to helicopters to trains to mine cars. What more could you ask for?

Christian Slater Travolta is great to watch -- plenty of screen charm and charisma. Slater kind of pales by comparison (as he does next to most other powerful screen presences), but that works for him in this role. And ... when it comes right down to it ... Slater, as an actor, rises to the occasion.

Does his character rise to the occasion and save the day? Well, go see the film.

Samantha Mathis I have to make a comment about Mathis, because my pal Stephen Whitty, who reviewed it for a newspaper when it came out, actually mentioned her looks, and was at best lukewarm. Stephen is a great guy and I respect him a lot, but I have to say that Mathis was very good as an actor, was very good in the fight scenes, and has beautiful lips.

In the theater, or on video?

Well, it's too dang late to see it in the theater. It's great on video. I have a copy and have watched it several times.
DVD at
VHS at

See other information about "Broken Arrow" at Internet Movie Data Base.