Air Force the Movie: Danger Close follows a team of survivors trying to make it out of a war-torn island nation while a rescue mission is devised in their home country.
A PASKAU team is sent off to the island nation of Namburi, where the civil war has just been resumed after a ceasefire, and the Malaysian humanitarians stuck there need to be evacuated to safety.
However, when the evacuating flight takes off, a North Namburi militia shoots the plane down and the survivors, now down to nine, must evade countless perils and morbidities to make it out of this hellscape alive.
Led by Captain Adib, and his mentor Major Adnan, the six soldiers navigate through the treacherous terrains and perilous militants, while also escorting the civilians with them.
Meanwhile, a rescue mission back at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base is devised and it’s decided that Adib’s childhood friend and brother-in-law, pilot Zafran will lead the effort.
Taking on dozens of militants and risky routes, the team’s number is cut down by four, with Dr. Susan, Major Lejen, as well as Paco, and Hujan, all dead.
Adib, Gaban, Tuai, Matno, and Natrah all survive and make it to the rescue helicopters while Zaf and his team of fighter pilots lend significant assistance in the air.
The survivors are brought home and to safety where they pay their last respects to the martyrs.
Air Force the Movie is a sentimental ride, replete with melodrama and physical acting that can get a bit too animated.
Adi Putra gives a relatively subdued performance, while Aiman Hakim brings a similar intensity to his role. However, his frowns during the dog fight struggle to be convincing.
There aren’t any standouts here, but there sure are moments where the performances by most of the cast barely make it out of the suffocating environment of the story written for them.
There are times when the dread and the bleakness of a war-torn nation are successfully conveyed, even if it’s in mere dosages and brief glimpses.
The first part of Air Force the Movie sets up things pretty well and feels rather tight-knit — a far cry from what follows.
It’s an overtly sentimental slog, which would make sense since it is a story about soldiers navigating through war — one of the most surreally reprehensible events that humanity has to offer every once in a while.
However, instead of opting for a more fleshed-out context or understanding of war and what horrors it wreaks on one and all, the film is focused on glorifying and offering gratitude to the military heroes.
While the veterans of any country who put their lives on the line for causes that will elude future generations are to be commended for their bravery in the face of the existential full stop, there’s no glory there to be had, only pity, a collective regret, and shame for all who could instead keep on living.
Air Force the Movie, and countless others like it, are bereft of the nuance and effort it must take one for one to undertake a film based around war, fictional or non-fictional.
The philosophy and aim of the film themselves must be questioned, as they do inform the entirety of it. Why must a film dare to go where there’s even a faint possibility of glorification of the soldiers or their acts, instead of shame and remorse over their lives?
However, if one were to remove all that context from the film, and treat it like it existed in a social vacuum, Air Force the Movie is not exactly a technical masterpiece to warrant such a charitable method of critique.
The CGI while alright in the first half, is an unseemly sight in the latter half, with the climactic dog fight making for a lousy aerial sequence, one that inspires neither suspense nor amazement.
Air Force the Movie: Danger Close is fond of the soppy, sentimental, and clichéd rut of war movies, instead of meditating on the intrinsically heavy and poignant aspects of such a morose subject matter.
With neither a commitment to a proper treatment of the subject matter nor the technical work required therein, the film is, at best, sloppy cinema — the one thing a war movie should never be.
Air Force the Movie: Danger Close
Director: Zulkarnain Azhar, Frank See
Date Created: 2023-01-25 13:30