Police pilot Frank Murphy gets chosen to test a high-tech surveillance helicopter. While flying the chopper, Murphy and his partner, Richard Lymangood, discover the craft is designed to facilitate a government plot against civilians.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
"The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it." - Dave Barry. It's true for the most part, but with some fairly obvious exceptions: 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Black Hawk Down'. It's just not good. Roy plays a super pilot of a super helicopter, and the main bad guy is Malcolm McDowell, who was doing the moustache twirling bad guy routine. Things get blown up.
Given the current debate about heavy-handed policing in the US, "Blue Thunder" should be a fascinating warning about the militarisation of law and order. However, it becomes just another dull action film with cardboard characters and flashy set-pieces. It's only riveting when the great Warren Oates is onscreen; the film is unworthy of him (and the great Galaxie 500 song).