Home > Adventure >

Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow (1996)

February. 09,1996
| Adventure Action Thriller

When rogue stealth-fighter pilot Vic Deakins deliberately drops off the radar while on maneuvers, the Air Force ends up with two stolen nuclear warheads -- and Deakins's co-pilot, Riley Hale, is the military's only hope for getting them back. Traversing the deserted canyons of Utah, Hale teams with park ranger Terry Carmichael to put Deakins back in his box.


Watch Trailer


Similar titles



Broken Arrow is a big budget blockbuster film from John Woo starring John Travolta and Christian Slater who are pilots assigned to carry a nuclear weapon when Travolta decides to go rogue. Travolta excels as the bad guy(as also seen in Face Off) and the scenes are over the top in typical Woo fashion. Set pieces aside this is a rudimentary action film one can watch with a few friends.


Now these were the days. Broken Arrow is a terrifically entertaining action film that reeks of 90s cheese. It's chock full of slow motion, campy dialogue and a bombastic score. The movie knows what it is and makes no pretensions about itself, which unfortunately cannot be said for many of the drab, self serious action films Hollywood pumps out nowadays. Storywise, the movie keeps things simple. Crazed Air Force Major Vic Deakins (John Travolta) has stolen two nuclear warheads and threatens to detonate them over a populated area if his demands aren't met. Now it's up to his ex-partner Riley Hale (Christian Slater) and Utah park ranger Terry Carmichael (Samantha Mathis) to foil his scheme before a major U.S. city is reduced to a mushroom cloud. This sets the stage for a relentless game of cat and mouse through the canyons of Utah, as Riley and Terry battle Vic and his henchmen for possession of the warheads. This plot is mercifully coherent and avoids the mistake many action films of today make in becoming too convoluted for their own good. As Deakins, Travolta steals the show. He is so cartoonishly over the top that he almost seems to be from a different planet from the rest of the characters. But this is how it should be. Action films live or die on the quality of their villains. Just look at some of the best ones: Die Hard, Speed, Terminator 1 and 2. Can you imagine any of these films with a lesser antagonist? A great villain is something that can turn a merely OK action flick into a great one, and Travolta's scenery chewing helps in elevating Broken Arrow closer to classic action movie status (He also gets a hilarious and over the top exit, another factor sorely lacking in today's action movie climate). While admittedly overshadowed by Travolta, Christian Slater nevertheless holds his own and creates a solid hero in Riley Hale. Samantha Mathis is fine as plucky park ranger Terry and the supporting cast is populated by reliable character actors such as Delroy Lindo, Bob Gunton and Kurtwood Smith. John Woo directs the film with style and fluidity, although his technique here is slightly more subdued compared to his earlier work. His direction and Graham Yost's script keep the film moving at a breakneck pace that never lets up. The film's pace is exhilarating, and Hans Zimmer's kinetic score further pumps up the movie. A quick note about the score. While Hans Zimmer may have received vast recognition and acclaim for his work on The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, his compositions for Broken Arrow rank among the best he's ever done for the genre. They juice up the already thrilling action scenes into something that truly feels epic and only highlight what a difference a great score can do for a movie. Broken Arrow is a gleefully absurd 90s action flick that is pure fun from start to finish. Over the years the film seems to have been somewhat forgotten, with Woo and Travolta's subsequent collaboration Face/off overshadowing it. Admittedly, while Broken Arrow may not be quite as good as Face/off the film still holds up. It has well shot action, a brilliant score, a memorable villain and the 108 minute run time flies by. This is all further enlivened by John Woo's operatic directorial flourishes which elevate the film's scale and, consequently, making the stakes feel even larger. Perhaps most refreshingly, the movie never takes itself too seriously, which helps to inject the most important ingredient into a film of this genre. An ingredient that too many action/adventure films of today seem to have forgotten: Fun.


Broken Arrow (1996) is one of my favorite John Woo best US action films alongside Hard Target which is my first John Woo favorite film, Broken Arrow is my third personal favorite John Woo action film that I love to death! Hard Target was his first American movie, this is his second American movie, which I think is incredible classic action thriller from the 90's I have ever saw. It is going to be 20. years since this movie come out and i still love it today more than any other movie.I love John Travolta in this movie which I think he did one of his best acting performances of his life. He acted convincing as the main villain Deakins in this movie. Broken Arrow has a great score, great actors and different style of terrorists, who stole nuclear warheads, but didn't took over some plant or building or plane or train etc.. It is completely different action movie. Christian Slater was awesome as the main hero. I love this movie and it is never too long or boring unlike Face/Off. In my honest opinion the movie to me is compared to Die Hard and it is one of John Woo's best underrated action movies but that is just my opinion. It is a die hard movie in a desert heat much a like as Stallone's Cliffhanger. But with very different story and it is a stand alone movie which I love that. John Woo never liked making sequels so A Better Tomorrow II (1987) was his last sequel he made, so I am glad this movie doesn't have any sequels, remakes or reboot. In my opinion the 80's had a lot of better action movies, but the 90's had a very cool action movies too. I still love Die Hard With A Vengeance to death and still love other action movies that were made in 90's. I love Broken Arrow to death! It is my favorite John Woo movie! This is a great film recently and it is a cool action movie. It's got action, excitement and interesting characters and Legendary music. I love this film. Christian Slater as the Good guy, the Hero was cool and John Travolta was an intriguing character and hilarious, damn what a rush. The action in here is amazing. Fun action, good acting, quick pace, and entertaining. The final sequence on the train has some quality explosions and even has bad guys killed by helicopter blades. The best thing about this movie though is John Travolta who hams it up beautifully; he is having an absolute blast as Vic Deakins, former US Air Force pilot turned terrorist loon. He also has one of the most over the top and awesome bad guy deaths of all time. I have always enjoyed this movie, I never felt bored I love the action sequences on the train when Hale (Christian Slater) uses one of his martial arts to defeat Deakins (John Travolta) was spectacular he deactivate the nuclear device and kills Deakins it was outstanding. Hans Zimmer theme for Deakins ripped off movie Scream 2 for Dewey (David Arquette) theme. Hans Zimmer provides one of his greatest scores to this movie with some nice twanging guitar from Duane Eddie. I love how any time Travolta is on screen he has this hilarious guitar theme tune which is cool, but hilarious funny at the same time. Broken Arrow has Woo's trademark slow motion and double gun-play galore. I believe there is the odd pigeon thrown in for good measure too. Not entirely sure Samantha Mathis was all that great as the female love interest, but it is cool to have a Pump up the Volume reunion (1990). Which I never watched that movie before I am glad they both of the actors (Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis) worked together once more again.Broken Arrow has plenty of flaws but for sheer explosive entertainment you could do a lot worse. I love the movie and could watch it on repeat. The music is also totally epic. This movie get's is a perfect 10 by me. Last Year it was hardly for my supplier of Blu-ray's to get me this movie on Blu-ray I actually have this film in Blu-ray collection this one and Stallone's Cop Land was so hard to find. I have them both on Blu-ray discs.


Sure it's a ridiculous movie and has some laughable dialogue with some really cheesy moments. But for a action movie from the 90's, I give this movie a pass. Despite all the flaws and ridiculous aspect of this film, it's still a pretty enjoyable popcorn flick. With some good action set pieces and gunplay. Plus it was entertaining to watch playing the charismatic psycho villain. His agenda and motives aren't very clear, but he was fun to watch. In a movie like this going a bit overboard isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sure the action sequences maybe a bit outdated but it's still passable. Overall this is still a fun popcorn flick despite it's flaws.6.5/10