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Broken Arrow

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a B-3 Stealth Bomber crashes in the Utah desert during a top-secret test run, the military quickly moves in to retrieve its two "broken arrows." But the situation spins wildly out of control after one of the pilots reveals the crash to be part of an incredible nuclear extortion plot.

John Travolta is Vic Deakins, a bomber pilot who launches a devilish plan to hijack two nuclear missiles for big-time extortion. Vic never sweats, spews out great one-liners, knocks off money men with glee, toys with killing half a million people... he even smokes!

If you giggled at his "Ain't it cool" line from the trailer, you're in the right frame of mind for this comedic action film. Never as gritty or semi-realistic--or for that matter as heart-thumping--as the original Die Hard, Broken Arrow still delivers. If Travolta is cast against type, everyone else is by the numbers; Christian Slater as Hale, the earnest copilot looking to foil the plot, Samantha Mathis as the brave park ranger caught in the middle, Frank Whaley as an eager diplomat, Delroy Lindo as a right-minded colonel. As with his previous script (the superior Speed), writer Graham Yost moves everything quickly along as Hale and the ranger try to cut off Deakins's plan over a variety of terrains. We have plane crashes, car chases, a pursuit through an abandoned mine, a helicopter-train shootout, and lots of fighting between boys. Each time Hale finds himself perfectly in place to foil Deakins. You're suppose to laugh at the unbelievable situations. That's where Arrow is deceptive: its tone is right for the laughter compared to the mean-spirited Schwarzenegger and Stallone action films with labored jokes. Hong Kong master director John Woo (The Killer, Hard Target) pulls out all the stops--slow motion of Hale and Deakins's gymnastic gun play, nifty stunts, countdowns to doomsday. Woo may know action, but he needs more guidance in creating unique and stunning special effects. This is action entertainment at its cheesiest. Travolta and Woo later reteamed for Face/Off. --Doug Thomas

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Delroy Lindo, Bob Gunton
  • Directors: John Woo
  • Writers: Graham Yost
  • Producers: Allison Lyon Segan, Bill Badalato, Brad Lewis, Christopher Godsick, Dwight H. Little
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 1999
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305280754
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,340 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Broken Arrow" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on February 13, 2009
Format: DVD
A vast improvement over "Hard Target" (1993), director John Woo finds his Hollywood niche in this fast-paced thriller. Though it doesn't match the kinetic flair of Woo's Hong Kong epics, "Broken Arrow" (1996) delivers plenty of serial-style action while utilizing the Southern Utah landscape to striking effect. The film's raison d'être lies in the charismatic villainy of John Travolta - who has a wonderful time playing a traitorous military pilot and nuclear blackmailer. Christian Slater's efficient heroics are a good match for Travolta's diabolical cool. "Broken Arrow" is cheerfully preposterous and endlessly entertaining. Classic dialogue: "Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Douglas TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 4, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
A great action film with excellent performances. I have the Standard DVD and just bought and watched the Blu Ray version. While I did not put one on and then the other for a relative side by side comparison, the video transfer is pretty good, not great. In some scenes there appears to be a smoothness to faces which is demonstrative of over compression. However, this really occurs only intermittently. Overall, a pretty decent transfer with little if any noticeable grain, no artifacting or aliasing.

The audio transfer is DTSHD 5.1 and is very well done with full use of your surround system, including sub. The score sometimes overshadows the foley fx and directionality of the discreet audio channels, but, overall, a very fine transfer.

I bought the BluRay on sale at Walmart for $7 so it was more than worth it. Other than BD LIve, which I think is a waste of a feature found on many Blu Rays, there were no extras, no deleted scenes or any thing other than the hated trailers for other films.
All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Coyote on January 23, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
If you love action and adventure, this is a definite must-see! Christian Slater and John Travolta make a perfect good guy vs. villian mix, and while the plot may be a bit far out, you will never notice. The action will draw you in and keep you spellbound until the last scene. Mathis's role as the park ranger helping Slater save the day is a bit strained at times, but the effort is valiant, and by the end she's an old pro. Travolta's one-liners definitely make the movie. If you're going to be the bad guy, you've gotta have a stack of suave comebacks and wisecracks, and boy, has he got it! ...."Please try NOT to shoot at the thermonuclear weapons" from behind clenched teeth gets me every time. It's clear that though this is an action movie, it's also a mind game. Travolta's comments let the viewer inside his head, to feel like you are really there.
..."You're out of your mind!"...
..."Yeah, ain't it COOL?"....
You bet it is -- and the stunts will leave you gasping in wonder. From Mathis's near disembowelment by a thwocking chopper blade to Travolta's frantic attempts to catch his getaway pilot's attention, it's all fantastic. Howie Long is also fantastic as Kelly, one of Travolta's goons.
All in all, quite spetacular. I recommend it to everyone, but get your snacks before it starts because you won't want to miss a minute!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Martijn Langenhuijsen on August 23, 2000
Format: DVD
Great movie. The action scenes are intense and perfect. John Travolta as Deakins is magnificent because of his mimic and fantastic acting. The special effect are very good. And last but not least the explosions are great, big and a great sound. If you have not seen it rent it on DVD because of the sound,- and picture quality. Have fun!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brent Butler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
"Broken Arrow" mixes a lot of Die Hard with a strong dose of the great outdoors to produce a film that is WAY short on logic, but heavy with delicious acting performances. And let's face it, how many movies get to have lines like, "Please DON'T shoot at the nuclear weapons!" LOL

Travolta has a lot of fun with his villain roles, and this is no exception. While he is often over the top, he also has deep moments in this film, as when he kills the annoying partner/financier to the crime and then has a moment of reflection about how it felt to actually kill someone face to face, for the first time. Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis have good chemistry as the pilot and park ranger brought together by circumstance as the only people in the way of the theft of nuclear weapons. Even Howie Long impresses in his role of a special forces member gone to the dark side.

Now, elements of the plot are thin, no doubt about it. As long as you can believe that two people on foot can somehow keep up with helicopters, trucks, and humvees, you won't notice the plot holes. LOL A one star reviewer compared this movie to "Con Air". I'll agree that travel time idiocies do link the two films, but where I detested "Con Air" for just such goofs, for some reason I found them forgivable in this film, as I was much more entertained by just about everyone in the cast. It is unquestionably a mindless sort of entertainment, and it has to be. If you spend too much time thinking about it this plot unravels like a skein of rotten yarn.

But somehow, seeing the lady Park Ranger stand up to a US Army Ranger, and Christian Slater stand up to and overcome the "friend" who had consistently bullied and belittled him pulls this movie out of the valley of silly ... at least for me.
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