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.
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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).