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"BROKEN ARROW"
(1996) (John Travolta, Christian Slater) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Mild Moderate Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None Moderate None Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
An Air Force captain must stop his partner's plans to blackmail the government with two nuclear weapons.
PLOT:
Major Vic Deakins (JOHN TRAVOLTA) and Captain Riley Hale (CHRISTIAN SLATER) are Air Force pilots sent on a mission to fly a B-3 bomber carrying two live nuclear weapons to test for radiation emissions. The mission goes awry when Deakins jettisons Hale and then drops the bombs and himself from the plane. While Deakins retrieves the undamaged nukes, Hale meets up with feisty park ranger, Terry Carmichael (SAMANTHA MATHIS), who decides to help Hale find Deakins. His plan is to blackmail the government for $250 million or he'll set off the nukes. From then on, there's much mayhem as Hale and Terry find, fight and try to stop Deakins and his right-hand man, Kelly (HOWIE LONG) from finishing their plan.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, this action filled film will have them begging to see it. In addition, Travolta and Slater will draw them in.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong action violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN TRAVOLTA plays a military officer who steals two nuclear weapons to blackmail the government and also kill several people.
  • CHRISTIAN SLATER plays the "good guy" who kills most of the bad guys to retrieve the nuclear weapons and save the Midwest.
  • SAMANTHA MATHIS plays the superhero park ranger who takes lots of dangerous and unnecessary risks to help Hale.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    We enjoyed this movie better the first time in the theaters than in our second viewing where its flaws and implausibilities stood out more. For an action film it's not bad and Travolta makes a good villain even though he occasionally chews on the scenery a bit. The biggest problems are the obligatory gun battles (where nobody gets hit despite the thousands of bullets flying through the air) and fist fights (where everyone takes more punches to the body and head then most heavyweight boxing champions do in a life time). In addition, Terry the park ranger is completely unbelievable as she plays "superhero" and jumps and dangles from moving jeeps and trains and somehow knows every square inch of the vast desert better than the back of her hand. While other action films have similar problems, they really stand out in this film. If you can overlook them, however, you'll probably enjoy Broken Arrow which we give a 6 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This is a very violent film with many people being killed or wounded. In addition, there's a heavy dose of profanity, but nothing to the extreme. The theme implied here is that violence is a means to and end and thus parents should make note of that.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • Blood splatters on the side of a tent after a person inside is shot.
  • A dead camper, who's just fallen into his fire after having been shot, is engulfed in flames.
  • Hale has a little bit of blood in the corner of his mouth after being ejected from his plane (and getting punched by Deakins).
  • There's some blood inside a helicopter cockpit after the pilot's been shot.
  • A bad guy is hit and cut by a helicopter blade.
  • Hale's shoulder is bloody toward the end.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Of course all of the bad guys have bad attitudes, but particularly Deakins, who not only tries to kill his partner, but steals two nuclear weapons and prepares to kill lots of innocent people if the government doesn't pay his ransom.
  • Hale tells Deakins that he took a twenty-dollar bill from Deakins locker before using it to place a bet on their boxing match.
  • Deakins' investor asks, "Do you mind?" as Deakins' smoking irritates him. Deakins turns, blows smoke on the man and offers him a cigarette.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • Many of the action/fight scenes might be viewed as tense, but none are frightening. Most of the tension comes from the "Hero/Heroine must get out of a predicament" scenes. If you find that kind of scene tense, then there are several of them in this movie. For details see "Violence."
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Machine guns/Handguns/Hand Grenades: Used throughout the film by both the good guys and the bad guys to wound or kill others. For details see "Violence."
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Idiots," "Screwed," "Bastard," and "Pissed off."
  • Deakins snuffs out his cigarette between his thumb and finger. Ouch!
  • Hale and Terry jump onto a moving Humvee.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Some of the tense action scenes are accompanied by minor tense music, but most of it would be better labeled as action music.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 10 "f" words, 10 "s" words, 17 hells, 5 damns, 4 "ass" words, 4 SOB's, 1 slang term for male genitals (the "p" word), 1 slang term for female genitals (the "p" word), and 11 uses of "God," 4 of "God damn," 3 of "My God/Oh my God" and 1 of "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • Deakins smokes throughout the movie.
  • Deakins' investor asks, "Do you mind?" as Deakins' smoking irritates him. Deakins turns, blows smoke on the man and offers him a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Nuclear terrorism.
  • Using violence as a means to an end.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Deakins and Hale spar in a boxing ring, where heavy, almost mean spirited blows are delivered by both to the head, gut and sides. At the end of the scene, Hale has taken quite a beating.
  • A fake "park ranger" shoots and kills a husband and wife camping in the desert.
  • Deakins pulls his pistol on Hale and prepares to shoot him. Hale deflects the gun which fires into the air. Still strapped in their chairs, they proceed to throw punches at one another. Hale pulls out his gun, but Deakins knocks it out of his hand and then ejects Hale from the plane. He then drops the nukes, ejects, and the bomber crashes and explodes on the desert floor.
  • Terry, the park ranger, confronts Hale with her gun drawn. He knocks the gun from her hand, grabs it and then finds her holding a knife to his throat. She tells him, "Just put it down and I won't have to kill you." She knocks the gun from his hand, kicks him in the shin, regains her gun, and fires it into the air to prove that it's loaded. He then kicks her off of him, gets the gun and they finally call a truce.
  • Two recovery team members are shot and killed by a high powered rifle.
  • The rest of the recovery team is shot at and returns fire with machine guns and handguns. All but two of the team are killed and several assailants are wounded. Kelly (Howie Long), shoots and kills his command leader.
  • Hale and Terry are shot at by an assault helicopter which blows up Terry's truck. The pilot then says, "Let's have some fun," (ie. play with them before killing them), and Hale and Terry flee, hide, and return fire at the attacking copter. Terry distracts the pilot which allows Hale the opportunity to shoot the pilot dead. The copter then goes out of control, crashes, explodes and it's rear rotor nearly chops Terry up.
  • A Humvee driver shoots through the roof at Hale and Terry on top. Hale falls off and is dragged behind the Humvee. Terry reaches in and punches the driver who tries to shoot her. Hale runs to catch the first Humvee as the second Humvee moves in to crush him and he jumps into the first Humvee just in time. Terry slips and hangs from the first Humvee and Hale shoots a pistol at the second Humvee, but it's protected by bullet proof glass. Hale then shoots the driver of the first Humvee in the foot (after he threatens to shoot Terry), bangs his head into the steering wheel and then tosses him out where he's run over by the second Humvee. Hale then attaches a flare to a gas can and tosses it onto the second Humvee which explodes (but the people inside are okay).
  • There is a big machine gun battle in a copper mine where Hale and Terry have taken the nukes and Deakins and his men have come to get them back.
  • A bad guy tries to sneak up on Terry in the copper mine and she steps out and bashes him on the head with a metal pipe. They struggle to get his machine gun and it haphazardly fires during their struggle. She elbows him in the gut, and then Hale comes leaping through the tunnel, shooting and injuring the bad guy.
  • The injured bad guy has a hand grenade, but he's mistakenly shot by Deakins and drops the grenade. Hale catches it and tosses it at Deakins where it explodes and collapses part of the mine.
  • Kelly drops two grenades which destroy the mine elevator, thus trapping Hale and Terry inside.
  • Deakins smashes a metal rod into his investor's throat, first chocking and then killing him. Deakins says (about killing someone face to face for the first time), "I don't know what the big deal is, I really don't."
  • The nuke explodes underground, blowing out the mine and sending shockwaves throughout the desert. The electromagnetic pulse, which momentarily knocks out all electrical systems, causes a federal helicopter to crash and explode, killing all on board.
  • On board a train, Terry tries to hit a bad guy with a hammer. He deflects it and beats her up with kicks and punches. He then tries to hit her with the hammer, but she hits him instead with a piece of wood and eventually knocks him out with a throw of the hammer.
  • Deakins holds his handgun on Terry, while trying to get her to activate the nuke (just out of meanness and a bad power trip).
  • The unconscious bad guy is thrown from the train and Deakins tells Terry, "Thanks, you just saved me $3 million."
  • Deakins prepares to throw Terry out of the train when Hale shows up in a helicopter and fires a machine gun at Deakins hitting in the arm. The bad guys fire back and Hale finally jumps to the train to save Terry who's now hanging from the side. A bag guy approaches, but an officer shoots him from the helicopter.
  • Hale shoots a bad guy dead with a handgun.
  • The officer in the copter is hit by bullets and the copter crashes into a hillside and explodes, killing all on board.
  • A helicopter on board the train explodes when its engine is started. It's pilot and another man are killed.
  • Hale knocks Kelly out of the train where he then falls a long distance to his death.
  • Deakins and Hale fire machine guns at each other. They then come to a truce and decide that hand to hand combat is a better way to resolve their dispute. There's a prolonged scene where they punch, kick, hit, strangle and generally and unrealistically beat each other silly and bloody as the nuke's detonation counts down.
  • Terry shoots the train conductor dead as he tries to shoot her.
  • The two sections of the separated train collide and explode, and Deakins is impaled by the nuclear weapon. Anyone else who might still have been on the freight train is killed.



  • Reviewed July 16, 1996

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