Sunday, October 31, 2004

Executive Decision

HBO has been (and Cinemax will soon be) playing the 1996 movie "Executive Decision." It's a first-rate thriller. Normally, you'd presume that a movie about terrorist hijacking would be pigeonholed as an "action" movie. While this movie has a good bit of action, it's also got a lot of suspense and tension and doesn't merely go from mindless action scene to another rote action scene.

Neil Gabler wrote about it in 2002, in The Authors of 9/11: "
It also seems likely that prior to planning the 9/11 foray someone in the Arab terrorist camp had seen Executive Decision [written by Jim Thomas & John Thomas], a 1996 thriller about terrorists who use planes as missiles to attack Washington.
I realize that at least Condi Rice among the Bushies said that such use of planes as weapons was unimagineable, but this movie had ... terrrorists hijacking planes and planning to use them as missiles.

Also, it had the passengers placated by telling them, in paraphrase, "this will all be over, just stay calm," as the hijackers more or less did on 9/11. At least one of the hijackers was a trained pilot.

One surmise by some is that all the hijackers didn't know the true plan on 9/11 -- such was the case in the movie.

There are more similarities, too. But one big item echoed in the movie is that, although the movie is called "Executive Decision," the President isn't in D.C. and makes apparently no contribution to the entire crisis.

Hey, that's a lot like George W. Bush on 9/11.

It's skillful action-oriented thriller -- well acted and well put together. And, while there are a few "well, I don't quite believe that" moments, there are far fewer than in your average action fare.

Recommended. It's on HBO-2, I note, at midnight tonight and on Cinemax in days to come.

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