Did 'Iron Eagle' embolden the terrorists?
Iron Eagle, a campy film about the love of a son for his imprisoned father? Or a terrorist propaganda film that boldly predicted the growing conflict between the United States and the Middle East?
I'm kidding! Jeesh. Calm down. Though, if you think about it, the story of a high school boy and retired Air Force colonel pulling the wool over the eyes of the entire U.S. military so they can wage a two-plane war against a tyrannical Arab nation is the sort of film that would only be made in 1986. It's been making the rounds on cable television lately, so I've seen more than my fair share of it.
Iron Eagle has its good points. It's fun to watch Louis Gossett Jr. channel his Sgt. Foley from An Officer and a Gentleman again. And Jason Gedrick as Doug Masters? Well, he gets the job done. And seriously, who can resist the '80s rock gems sprinkled through the soundtrack? Queen's One Vision is the brightest jewel, but there's also Hide in the Rainbow by Dio, It's Too Late by Helix and, of course, We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister.
Here are five pieces of trivia worth knowing about Iron Eagle.
1. LIBYA, NOT SWEDEN: The villainous country is supposedly Libya, but the soldiers are using Swedish munitions from WW2. The enemy planes are actually Egyptian planes that have been repainted.
2. THE DANGER ZONE: Iron Eagle was released the same year as another high-flying military movie, Top Gun. Once the studio realized they'd be competing against Tom Cruise, they moved the release date from summer to January.
3. NO THANK YOU: The U.S. Air Force reportedly withdrew their offer to serve as consultants on the film when they realized so much of the plot revolved around a group of kids hacking their computers and stealing their planes and equipment.
4. ALSO STARRING: Jason Gedrick played Doug Masters, but the role almost went to a much bigger star: Emilio Estevez.
5. THE SEQUELS: Even though the movie met with mostly negative reviews, it spawned three sequels. Louis Gossett Jr. is the only actor to appear in all four movies. Gedrick makes a short cameo in Iron Eagle 2. The character of Doug Masters does return in Iron Eagle 4, but the role was played by Jason Cadieux. But Gedrick's acting career was much more than just these two movies. He also appeared in Risky Business, The Heavenly Kid and Backdraft. He also had roles in TV's Boomtown, Murder One and Desperate Housewives.