[VIDEO REVIEWS]Terrorism themes get more grim a year on

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[VIDEO REVIEWS]Terrorism themes get more grim a year on

Nobody ever seriously imagined that the 110-story World Trade Towers would tumble into dust, the result of a terrorist attack. Such tragedies were reserved for special-effect-laden action movies, dished out for entertainment. With Sept. 11 just one week away, the classic action films reviewed below, with their terrorism themes, seem more thought-provoking than entertaining.

"Air Force One" (1997)

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman and Glenn Close.

When Peter Jennings asked about where the U.S. president was when the Sept. 11 news broke, he perhaps wanted Mr. Bush to be like Harrison Ford's President James Marshall in "Air Force One." Ford gives a fine performance as the president; Glenn Close, on the other hand, does little as the vice president minding the White House.

After making a "zero-tolerance" against terrorism speech in Moscow, the president is on his way back to the United States on Air Force One when Russian terrorists, headed by Egor Korshunov (Oldman), take over the plane, asking for the release of an imprisoned Russian general in return. His wife and little daughter taken hostage, the president hides from the attackers, then fights back. The film is successful at what it tries to do -- it has calculated action scenes with predictable but satisfying revenge.

"Executive Decision" ("Final Decision" in Korea, 1996)

Directed by Stuart Baird. Starring Kurt Russell and Halle Berry.

This time terrorists target a Boeing-747 going from Athens to Washington D.C. An anti-terrorist team tries to board the plane, but only the bookish intelligence adviser David Grant (Russell) makes it on board.

Well-orchestrated action sequences succeed at creating suspense; and Berry, this year's Oscar best-actress winner, is memorable (visually at least) as the flight attendant Jean.

by Chun Su-jin

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