All the good work and resuscitation John Travolta had done to his career with his turn in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction begins to unravel when he starts making films like Get Shorty, Michael and Broken Arrow. This is a totally mindless thriller without much thrill to it. Maybe if you put your brain on sleeper mode you might get some enjoyment out of Broken Arrow.
When a nuclear device is lost the American government calls it broken arrow. Rogue US pilot Major Vic Deakins (John Travolta) has a plan to steal two nuclear warheads while on a test run with them.
Major Deakins and Captain Riley Hale (Christian Slater – Bed of Roses, ) are Air Force pilots who are assigned a mission to fly an B-3 bomber that is carrying two nuclear warheads that they will use to test for emissions over the Utah desert. Things go awry when Deakins tries to kill Hale and crashes the airplane.
The warheads survive the crash and so does Deakins. He meets up with Emmitt Kelly (Howie Long – ) and they steal the warheads and threaten to detonate them over Salt Lake City unless the government pays them $250 million.
Riley, who also survived the crash, is found in the desert by a park ranger named Terry Carmichael ( ). The two figure out what Deakins is up to and race against time to stop the warheads from being detonated.
Travolta is the main problem with this film as he is so over the top in his portrayal of Major Deakins, the bad guy, that it is laughworthy. I almost expected laugh tracks at different points of the film when Travolta was delivering his lines through his typical clenched teeth. Totally cheesy! But not enough so that it swung over to the enjoyable side. It just took away from the action thriller angle that director John Woo (Mission: Impossible II, Paycheck) was going for.
Woo does not help himself with his stylized action scenes. They are also of the over the top variety and just adds cheese on top of cheese. Nothing about the film makes you want to take is seriously. You are not scared about the possibility of the detonation of the warheads nor do you take Deakins very seriously as a bad guy.
The story is so riddle with clichés and is so predictable that you can leave the room for a time and not miss a beat. There is really no reason for anything that happens in the film to happen. The dialogue is hokey. All this adds up to my theory that watching this film a number of times might result in your brain turning to mush.
-Trailers of Broken Arrow, Alien vs. Predator, Chain Reaction, Commando, Phone Booth, and Planet of the Apes