John Travolta has been rather prolific lately. Christian Slater had been lying low, but is now back on the big screen in full force. In Broken Arrow, they play Vic Deakins and Riley Hale, two airforce pilots, sparring partners, good friends, and better enemies.
The movie opens with Deakins beating the crap [*] out of Hale, and "winning" $20 in the process (the $20 is a recurring theme in the movie). The boxing scenes are filmed interestingly, and Travola and Slater pull of believable performances (getting the right amount of aggression and camaraderie across). They then take out a two billion dollar stealth bomber on a practice mission through the great deserts of Utah.
Unknown to Hale, Deakins is disgruntled with the fact that he is still a major in the Air Force after 20 years of service. For whatever reasons, Deakins ends up a few fingers short of a grasp and decides to steal the two nuclear weapons (the broken arrows) in the stealth aircraft, with the intention of selling them back to the government for 250 million dollars. He has meticulously planned for every contingency, except for Hale and a really cute park ranger, Terry Carmichael (Samantha Mathis). Guess who ends up with the $20 in the end?
The action in the movie is fairly gripping. The best parts about this movie are the comic lines ("that was a first for me too" is my favourite), both intentional and unintentional. However, the script is somewhat disjoint at times and there are awkward moments. Not even Travolta's villainous character can circumvent that. Slater and Mathis have some chemistry, but they are not allowed to explore it much since they are busy dodging falling helicopters which were being constantly blown up. Every mechanical means of transport is used except for motorcycles and this is somewhat of a plus since it provides for a change of pace. Some of the cinematography is breathtaking, especially the desert scenes and the flight of the stealth bomber. All in all, it's a decent action flick. There's no deep philosophical message in this movie, but it is fun entertainment.
* - language used on purpose as a form of civil disobedience against the Communications Decency Act of 1996.