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      Broken Arrow

      1996, Action, 1h 48m

      35 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      John Woo adds pyrotechnic glaze to John Travolta's hammy performance, but fans may find Broken Arrow to be a dispiritingly disposable English-language entry for the action auteur. Read critic reviews

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      Broken Arrow  Photos

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      Movie Info

      Air Force pilots Vic Deakins (John Travolta) and Riley Hale (Christian Slater) are sent on an overnight top-secret mission with two nuclear weapons aboard their aircraft. But, after they are in the air, Deakins changes the plan. He attempts to kill Hale and then steals the weapons with the intent of selling them to terrorists. However, Hale survives the crash and meets up with park ranger Terry Carmichael (Samantha Mathis). Together, Hale and Terry attempt to thwart Deakins' plan.

      • Rating: R

      • Genre: Action

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: John Woo

      • Producer: Mark Gordon, Terence Chang, Bill Badalato

      • Writer: Graham Yost

      • Release Date (Theaters):  original

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $70.6M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Fox, 20th Century Fox

      • Production Co: Mark Gordon Productions, 20th Century Fox, WCG Entertainment Productions

      • Sound Mix: Surround

      Cast & Crew

      John Travolta
      Christian Slater
      Samantha Mathis
      Delroy Lindo
      Bob Gunton
      Frank Whaley
      Howie Long
      Vondie Curtis Hall
      Jack Thompson
      John Woo
      Joe Gareri
      Christopher Godsick
      Brad Lewis
      Dwight H. Little
      Michele Maples
      Don Harper
      Hans Zimmer
      Peter Levy
      Joe Hutshing
      Steve Mirkovich
      John Wright
      Holger Gross

      Critic Reviews for Broken Arrow

      Audience Reviews for Broken Arrow

      • May 24, 2014

        Decent actioner that is tongue in cheek amid its seriousness, Broken Arrow is thrilling, but somewhat lacks something truly memorable to make this film truly worth watching. I enjoyed it, but this is far from John Woo's finest hour. I guess for a mindless action yarn it does the trick, but to those wanting a bit more substance to their action, look elsewhere. Broken Arrow looks dated, and has its moments, but Woo has directed far better films than this. The film feels like it relies too much on bits and pieces from other genre films to create its plot, and in doing so, lacks an original punch that could have made this film truly good. The film is not terrible, but there is nothing good here either. I wanted this one to be much better than the finished film, but I guess for mindless popcorn thrills, it does what it's supposed to do, but it should have been much better as well. John Woo can direct an exciting film; in fact his style is energetic, kinetic and top notch when it needs to be. With his masterpiece, The Killer he proved that, as well as with Face Off. Broken Arrow is fun, but I wanted the film to really be more. For the traditional action buff, this will certainly be a good time, but to those, wanting some original aspect to their story, you'll be a tad disappointed. For what it is, Broken Arrow is a decent action film worth checking out for the diehard action buff, and it's a mindless piece of entertainment that does the job, but it does fall short of its potential due to the fact that the plot and characters are somewhat clichéd. However, Broken Arrow is not the worst action film, yet it's not the best either, it's really an in between film, one that might divide genre fans.

        Super Reviewer
      • May 07, 2014

        Lots of action, not so much story, script, dialogue or acting although mr. travoltas obvious talent STILL shows through. Plus it's set in the breathtakingly serene Nevada Desert as a backdrop & you get to see a B-52 Bomber.

        Super Reviewer
      • Aug 12, 2013

        One of the first US films for John Woo before he went on to make a whole load more using the same visual style everytime. The other noteable thing here is the curious combination of Travolta and Slater pairing off against each other. Two best buds in the USAF are flying a B-3 Stealth Bomber with a deadly payload of nukes on board. Spoiler alert! Travolta goes rogue and turns on Slater dumping the nukes for his band of bad guys to pickup. Their plan? to sell the nukes to the highest bidder of course, dastardly!. I remember when this came out it was deemed to be quite a slick action flick, hell I even went to the cinema to see it. This is the first time I've watched this since 1996 and I can firmly say it hasn't aged well. Yep its just your average explosion filled action thriller with your standard hero who saves the day and kills everyone with the aid of a feisty female sidekick. The bad guys are your regular bunch of strapping blokes who mindlessly obey Travolta's insane commands, the main henchman being newbie Howie Long (film career didn't last long). All these guys are trigger happy, often dumb and get killed in very obvious set pieces you can see coming a mile away. In fact the whole film is much like that really, it just looks like one of those special effects shows at Universal Studios where everything looks like a setup or an obvious set. There isn't really anything original in the whole film, the plot is standard issue, the bad guys are standard issue, all the important military/government official types are the standard issue grizzled old men, slimy cowards or nerds, dialog is hammy with all the regular dribble you'd expect to hear and its got lots of standard issue John Woo slow motion and face off camera angles. Not even Travolta's semi fun bad guy can bring this film back from the dull zone. This was his first real baddie role after his career took off with 'Pulp Fiction' so his performance was definitely fresh and quite new for the actor. Its just a shame he's done the same thing now for so many other films since. As for Slater, well he doesn't really fit the profile for a leading man action hero, he's clearly not the type, he's not bad per say, he's just clearly not that type of guy simple. Even with Travolta being all camp he still looks like he can kick Slater's ass all over. A terrific film title, intriguing cast and thumping film poster still can't alter the fact this film is dull dull dull. It doesn't even look that good really, there is one stunt where Long gets booted off a train going over a very high bridge which is pretty impressive, but that's totally it. The drab looking location doesn't really help either, its all yellow dusty desert terrain everywhzzzzzzzz. If anything can be called 'by the numbers' its this film right here, weak stuff.

        philip h Super Reviewer
      • Jan 23, 2013

        The plot is so predictable that even Woo's insane action staging can't save it. Slater is boring, Travolta is awful . . . not much else to say.

        Super Reviewer

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