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Air Strike (2018) - Movie Review

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Air Strike (2018) - Movie Review

It turns out that money laundering allegations can’t keep a movie supported by Mel Gibson, as an artistic consultant, from missing its release date here in America.  Weird how that works.

To say that Air Strike, about the continual bombing of Chongqing by the Japanese during WWII and the group of volunteers who step up to fight against the threat, has had its series of problems since wrapping is a definite understatement.  The film, with a long receipt that no one can confirm, already has three names attached to it: The Bombing, Unbreakable Spirit, and now Air Strike.  Forget about the subplots that go nowhere because much of this film's REAL problems has to do with accusations of financial fraud.  Whoops.

"If you have an interest in watching grown men fight in the rain over who gets to fly the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk for revenge, then Air Strike is the war flick for you."

The actual film itself is not so much of a problem . . . IF you lower your expectations a bit and enjoy watching CGI aerial dogfights and the weak-looking destruction that follows such computer generated conflict.  Weightless and shiny, the warfare here is problematic.  This is a movie where ruin – structural and emotional –  rules the day, yet none of it really resonates as three major stories are intertwined concerning people fighting against the odds. 

But, above everything else, this is a movie that showcases Bruce Willis chomping down on a cigar while he leads a squadron of single-engine fighters toward the enemy in the sky.  If nothing else, there is that.  Woot woot!

There is a lot of death on the screen here; these deaths include children and, especially for a war movie, that sad reality must be present and a constant reminder.  But the film can’t get its destruction to carry any emotional weight.  And that’s disappointing.

Air Strike stars Willis, Fan Bingbing (who is the target of the financial fraud), Lie Ye, Nicholas Tse and Adrien Brody.  The acting, while ranging from decent to laughably bad, is never top-notch here.  Even the American actors – with Brody turning in yet another forgettable performance and Willis screaming “motherfucker” every other second he’s on screen – mumble, stomp, and scream their way through an exercise in how to run away from the sound of roaring engines in the sky and survive. . .

While the soap opera-like dialogue doesn’t help, the film does manage to have a few key sequences.  One in a church is memorable as a priest is blown to bits thanks to another assault by air and another involves the release of a bird because its owner, upon the news of his kid’s death, hasn’t the spirit left in him to care for it anymore.

Air Strike (2018) - Movie Review

Air Strike, directed by Xiao Feng, is not a Hollywood production and it shows, but, when you consider that we have had very little war flicks from this point of view here in America, well, I suppose there’s the strength of  this production.  Shooting “zeros” is no easy task and this film, being the 10th-most expensive non-English-language film yet made, takes its time to explain why.

If you have an interest in watching grown men fight in the rain over who gets to fly the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk for revenge, then Air Strike is the war flick for you.

Fire at will!  Air Strike is now in theaters thanks to Lionsgate.

2 stars

Air Strike (2018) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R.
97 mins
: Xiao Feng
Ping Chen, Tie Dong Zhou
Ye Liu, Bruce Willis, Seung-heon Song
: Military | Drama
Inspired by True Events.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We've reached a very critical time in this war with the Japanese."
Theatrical Distributor:
Grindstone Entertainment Group
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 26, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: During World War II, five different Chinese people fight their way through Japanese Air Force attacks to protect an important military machine in Chongqing, 1940.

Air Strike (2018) - Movie Review


Blu-ray Details:

No details available.

Air Strike (2018) - Movie Review

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