Even if you don’t agree with Die Hard being called the greatest action movie ever made, it’s hard to claim that it’s not the most influential. Once Bruce Willis’ John McClane burst onto the scene, the entire genre shifted away from the musclebound lunks of the 1980s to present grounded, relatable everymen.
On top of that, the high concepts just kept on getting higher, with Die Hard spawning a slew of thinly-veiled imitators that took the basic premise of a regular guy trapped in a confined location against overwhelming odds and transplanted it to an abundance of new scenarios.
One of the most unsung is Executive Decision, which landed in March 1996 to solid reviews and decent box office. The directorial debut of Stuart Baird, the editor and action veteran who previously cut the likes of Lethal Weapon, Tango & Cash, Die Hard 2, Demolition Man and more, it’s a whole lot of midair fun.
Kurt Russell stars as an army specialist forced to team up with Steven Seagal when terrorists hijack a plane traveling from Greece to Washington, only for the unlikely duo to discover that an entire payload of nerve gas is on board. It’s lightweight entertainment that’s ideal for weekend viewing, which must be one of the reasons why Executive Decision is within touching distance of the Netflix Top 20 most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.