The Concorde… Airport ’79 (1979)

This fourth and final entry in the “Airport” series is the franchise’s version of jumping the shark. This time, it’s not enough to have a cast of recognizable faces, an airborne disaster, and a plot filled with misadventures designed to up the stakes; this time, the producers go ahead and pack the plot full of supersonic booms, heat-seeking missiles, the Moscow Olympics… and Charo! That should give you a pretty good idea of just how freaking random this movie is. I mean, the plot is total nonsense, going from one “and then this happens” moment to another with no momentum or continuity, the special effects are genuinely laughable, the dialogue is baffling, and let’s just say that there’s a severe drop between the caliber of the famous faces parading through this nonsense than the previous entries. I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to try to turn French superstar Alain Delon into a crossover leading man with this, but he’s completely sidelined by an unflattering character arc that brings out the worst of him, making him an unlikable jerk that you can’t help but root against. However, it doesn’t compare to how short-shrifted George Kennedy is here: The only cast member to appear in all four movies somehow ends up being an absolute pig here despite having been a decent man in the previous movies. There’s no denying that casual sexism is a big part of the “Airport” series and it makes some moments unpleasant, but here it’s just relentless, like not a single male character is able to treat a woman with any sort of respect under any circumstances. It’s all just so ugly and pointless… but that goes for the movie too, so I guess it’s on point. Bleh, avoid at all costs.

Rating: ★ (out of 5)

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