Air America

Released 1990


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Movie Summary

Roger Spottiswoode

Air America is a 1990 comedy action film from director Roger Spottiswoode. Billy Covington (Robert Downey, Jr. ) had a great job as a Los Angeles-based helicopter traffic reporter until he's fired for breaking FAA regulations. Unemployed, broke and desperate, Billy accepts an offer to fly cargo shipments in Laos, a neighbor of war-torn Vietnam. Billy's first day on the job is a total eye-opener, though, as he learns his new employer is actually the CIA. His new partner is a burnt out black market weapons dealer, and is possibly crazy, as are half the other pilots flying for Air America. Gene Ryack (Mel Gibson) has been in Laos a long time, perhaps too long. He's learned to turn a blind eye to what happens in Laos, even as he participates in much of it, and counsels newcomer Billy to do the same. Life would be easier if he went with the flow, but Billy finds himself morally incapable of ignoring what he sees. To make a difference, though, he'll have to convince Gene, and the other pilots, to see Air America from his perspective.



Metacritic Score

  • 80


    Spectacular action sequences and engaging performances by Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr make this big-budgeter entertaining and provocative.

  • 33

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie has no script, and even the better gags - like one in which a couple of the pilots scribble away at coloring books in the backseat of a plane - could have been staged mor...

  • 0

    The New York Times

    This muddled film about a secret C.I.A. project in Laos in 1969 fails on every possible level: as action film, as buddy film, as scenic travelogue and even, sad to say, as a way to...

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson

Gene Ryack

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.

Billy Covington

Ken Jenkins

Ken Jenkins

Major Donald Lemond

Nancy Travis

Nancy Travis

Corinne Landreaux

Ernie Lively

Ernie Lively

Truck Driver, Rubio Moving & Hauling

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