John Badham had a banner year in 1983 as the director of two blockbuster techno-thrillers: War Games and Blue Thunder.
Cop Frank Murphy (Roy Scheider) and his rookie co-pilot Lymangood (Daniel Stern) of Los Angeles Air Support test fly a new urban pacification helicopter nicknamed “Blue Thunder,” over the city streets, and while on surveillance or “whisper” mode, learn of a wide-ranging conspiracy involving corruption and murder.
The Blue Thunder screenplay by the late Dan O’Bannon and Don Jakoby certainly sets up some amazing action sequences, but it’s also clumsy and contrived at crucial points.
|Blue Thunder in action.|
|Mastering self; mastering the machine.|
|What happens when machines are everywhere, and they see and hear everything?|
The film’s final scene, which sees Murphy pulp Blue Thunder in a final act of defiance to City Hall, makes perfect sense in terms of the film’s theme and story line. But I still hate to see the old girl go up in a fireball.