Air Force One Down

Air Force One Down 2024
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Air Force One Down

Another film about Air Force One being attacked and crashing. We have Air Force One, the 1997 Harrison Ford film, and we have Air Force One is Down a 2013 film. We also have The President’s Plane Is Missing from 1973 and Air Collision from 2012. And we can’t forget about Big Game, the 2014 thriller with Samuel L Jackson. I’m sure there are others, but this post is about the 2024 film starring Katherine McNamara, Ian Bohen, and Anthony Michael Hall.

In this film, Katherine McNamara plays a badass MARSOC Marine turned Secret Service Agent, Allison Miles. On her first assignment aboard Air Force One, a rookie Secret Service agent faces the ultimate test when terrorists hijack the plane, intent on derailing a pivotal energy deal. With the President’s life on the line and a global crisis at stake, her bravery and skills are pushed to the limit in a relentless battle that could change the course of history. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Air Force One Down - Sparring scene with Air Force One Down - Sparring scene

Speaking of Rotten Tomatoes, they rated this film a 13% and the audience gave it a 50%. IMDB gave it a 4.1/10 and One Guys Opinion gave it a D+.

The film opens with “Marines” training, which is stock footage of members of the Army training, but hey, it doesn’t matter, it’s Hollywood, right? Then we move to a scene where the Marine Corps is shown, which is a scene which is a sparring match involving Martial Arts instructor Allison Miles. There is only a few minutes of Marine Corps content and much of it is stock footage that you can purchase online, so much for the Marines representing. 

The film refers to the lead character as Major Allison Miles, MARCOS, which I assume they meant MARSOC, which is United States Marine Forces Special Operations Command. They could have also meant that she was a CSO which is a Critical Skills Operator, but as an officer, she would be a SOO (Special Operations Officer).

Major cast members were:

Katherine McNamara as Agent Allison Miles
Ian Bohen as President Edwards
Anthony Michael Hall as Sam Waitman
Dascha Polanco as Vice President Hansen
George Arabadjiysky as Dmitri
Antoni Davidov as Bahrudin
JR Esposito as Senior Staffer
Max Kraus as Vlad

My Take On The Flick:

There isn’t much Marine Corps in the film, beyond the fact that the main character, Agent Allison Miles, was a Marine who was recruited by the Secret Service. We see her training at the beginning of the film. The opening scenes are trying to depict Marines, but are stock footage of Army soldiers, but that doesn’t matter. Notice I said Stock footage. This film uses a ton of stock photos in between scenes. Now this isn’t unusual, but this film uses a ton of it. In the first thirty minutes, there are more than a dozen such uses of stock footage.

The story is a little bit of Air Force One with Harrison Ford and Die Hard 2 with Bruce Willis. Bad guys take over Air Force One, and the President and one single Secret Service agent, jump out of the plane, and once on the ground they run and hit. The bad guys have someone on the ground, pretending to be Air Force One as well as fake the flight path.

The bad guys have killed everyone onboard because the President wouldn’t come forward, as they are clearing a hall on the plane, they come to a door, which is closed, but leads to the exterior of the plane. We are to believe that this is the door that the President jumped from. The bad guy looks out the window and can see the President and the Secret Service agent gliding down to the earth in parachutes.

I have a few questions, the first being, how did the door get closed? Another is, how can you see the two parachutes, they would be far below and likely under the plane. Third, the two searching are the two who were in the cockpit of the plane, but there were a total of five bad guys and one was killed, why would they do the search?  And this is where everything falls apart and they stick to the script, and not reality.

I love how they jump from Air Force One over the middle of nowhere (which somehow ended up being Astovia, where the plane was scheduled to land), they land (at the same location where they end up meeting the Chief of Staff) and then hike for a long time. They find an abandoned house and stay the night, while they sleep, the bad guys managed to locate them the very next morning, that is just pure bullshit.

My observations

If you look at it this way, they were traveling around 600 MPH, so 10 miles a minute, and the time they jumped to at least 1-2 minutes to when it was noticed that they jumped, add in a delay for someone to notice the cockpit to take a look at the GPS, include in the wind and drift of the parachutes, you have HUGE margin for error and a HUGE area to search at least 20-30 square miles, but likely much larger.

Then the President and Agent Miles hiked for a few hours in an unknown direction, and they were found in the early morning. Not just found by one or two people, but an entire fleet of bad guys greet them in the morning. As for the airplane, we have no clue what happened to it, so I guess according to the movie title, it crashed, but as the two land, we do see a little smoke behind them.

This is completely impossible, the search area would be tens if not hundreds of square miles. Then you have to figure in that it was at night, so searching for them would have to be greatly slowed down. Oh well, it is Hollywood, lol.

The producers of this film needed to focus a few minutes on some of the graphics used in the film, depending on what scene they were showing, According to Edwards AFB, they lost connection with Air Force One at 47°58’53.4″N 118°18’19.7″W, which is in the state of Washington State, nowhere near the fictional country of Astonia. According to the bad guys screen, they terminated connection with the plane off the North Carolina Coast, and another screen at Edwards shows the plane disappearing off the coast of Ireland.

Air Force One Down - Connection Lost


Terminology and Lingo:


We have Air Force One, supposedly crashing, but we don’t see it, and the rest of the movie is on the ground. I’m not sure Air Force One Down is a good title for this movie, maybe something like The President Runs would be better. Or maybe they could find a nice stock video of a generic title scene and go with that.

This film already seemed to use a ton of stock video, they show at the beginning of the film, “Marine Corps Base – Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, USA” which is stock footage of MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. The footage was taken before 2012 when they made major changes to the tarmac.

Air Force One Down - Camp Lejeune

Opening sequence of stock video

Air Force One Down - Army 1

The “Marines” running the obstacle course is the Army and it is stock footage. As well as the cargo net scene is stock footage of the Army. Link to Pond5 Stock Video Footage.

Marines” climbing a cargo net, Link to Pond5 Stock Video Footage

Air Force One Down - Army 3

Marines” climbing monkey bars, Link to Pond5 Stock Video Footage

Andrews Air Force Base is actually, Istanbul Airport in Turkey. I can’t locate the actual stock video, which means that it was either private video that they purchased or they purchased all rights to the video from where they purchased it. The actual tower at Andrews is very plain, while this one is a work of art. Fun fact is that it is actually called Joint Base Andrews since 2009, when Andrews Air Force Base and Naval Air Facility Washington were merged.

Many of the Air Force One external shots are stock footage or from the movie Air Force One (1997).

To get the scene of Agent Miles and Agent Sam Waitman boarding Air Force One, they used this stock footage of “Air Force One airplane waiting for President Joe Biden to leave California from Long Beach Airport“, and overlaid the video for Miles and Waitman.

General Rodinov’s base is stock footage. The Washington D.C. scenes are, yep you guessed it and some are not even of D.C. The one with the taxi cabs is from downtown Manhattan.

When they hear that the President is safe, there are a bunch of short little scenes, which are all stock footage of Dover Air Force Base, Alameda Naval Base, San Francisco, California.

A majority of the film was filmed at Nu Boyana Film Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria.

They also shot the scenes that were in Astovia, which is from when they land to when they fly out. The church is just below the studio lot on the map.

When the President and Agent Miles are leaving Astovia, the airfield that they fly out of is Ihtiman Airport, Sofia Province, Bulgaria.

Fun Fact, Agent Miles would not be able to leave the Marine Corps that quickly, and she would have to go to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. The first part of their training would be the Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP), which is 59 days and then they would attend an 18-week Special Agent Training Course at the Secret Service’s training academy outside of Washington, D.C. Plus she would not likely be on the President’s detail that quickly. As for the Marine Corps side of the house, there is only one female Marine who is known to be in MARSOC and that is Sgt Alexa Barth. There may be others, but it is technically illegal for the Military to give out the names of special operators, I think an exception was given for now Sgt Barth, then LCpl Barth, in order to recruit more females into MARSOC. Other females have passed but didn’t get selected.

Air Force One Down trailer:

As of the time I posted this, this film is being streamed on:
Apple TV
Google Play 
Flix Fling

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Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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By Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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