No, this is not a "Steven Seagal Movie." It's a "Kurt Russell Movie"--the New Kurt Russell, the tough-yet-vulnerable Kurt Russell, the Kurt Russell a la Bruce Willis-type with whom we're about to be deluged, like it or not (answer: probably not).
The story of Executive Decision is easy to boil down: another rehashing of Die Hard, on an airplane for the first time since Passenger 57. This outing, Seagal, Russell, John Leguizamo, and Oliver Platt head a team of scrappy commandos and less-warlike people who board a 747 in mid-flight to stop a nerve gas bomb from detonating over Washington and wiping out the Eastern seaboard. This, apparently, is what terrorists do for kicks.
It could've been fun. It's been done, yes, but a fresh take on the hostage story can be exciting, and at times, Executive Decision is edge-of-your-seat material. The problem, and it shouldn't exist, is that for the entire first hour of this film, it is the most hideously boring, lifeless, repetitive, derivative, and pointless bit of celluloid you can imagine. Clocking in at a whopping 2 hours, 20 minutes, this picture had plenty which could have been cut out but wasn't, resulting in a whole lot of catching up to do in the last hour.
Thank God that the catch-up is pretty fun--but still, putting the audience to sleep at the beginning of the movie is a violation of the cardinal rule of action filmmaking.
If you're wondering about the acting, dialogue, etc.--don't. They're all typically cheese-infested (Seagal's character is actually, and I am not making this up, named "Austin Travis"). Instead, if you go to Executive Decision, sit back and try to enjoy the explosions and high-tech gadgetry. But more importantly, try to get there late.
The joke for this official Executive Decision button is so obvious that I'm not even going to say it...
Run time: 133 mins
In Theaters: Friday 15th March 1996
Box Office Worldwide: $68M
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 14
IMDB: 6.4 / 10
Director: Stuart Baird
Producer: Joel Silver
Starring: Kurt Russell as Dr. David Grant, Steven Seagal as Lt. Colonel Austin Travis, Halle Berry as Jean, Flight Attendant, John Leguizamo as Captain Rat, Joe Morton as Sergeant 'Cappy' Matheny, BD Wong as Sergeant Louie, Whip Hubley as Sergeant Baker, Mary Ellen Trainor as Allison, Flight Attendant, Oliver Platt as Dennis Cahill, Len Cariou as Secretary of Defense Charles White, Andreas Katsulas as El Sayed Jaffa, Marla Maples as Nancy, Flight Attendant, J. T. Walsh as Senator Mavros, Ingo Neuhaus as Doc, William James Jones as Catman