Oh boy. So get this, I’m training to be a sweet helicopter pilot and I was just about to definitely kill this drug lord when I got shot down, broke both of my legs, and got a massive concussion. Now I don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Fire Birds?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) When the movie opens Nic Cage is testifying to an investigative committee about an incident he was involved in. What happened during the incident?
2) What kind of gum is Nic Cage’s absolute favorite?
3) Nic Cage has an issue (and it isn’t that he’s the greatest). What is it and how do they find out about it?
4) How does he get over this issue?
5) During Operation Fire Bird our Fire Birds get off the ground and go after the bad guys. How many bad guys get got, and how many good guy casualties do we see from the three birds?
Bonus Question: How long does Nic Cage’s a Sean Young’s relationship last this time?
1) Nic Cage was in a helicopter patrolling a new sector of a foreign country as an escort to DEA agents fighting the war on drugs. Suddenly, an attack helicopter flew down and took out the other escort and the DEA agent craft with Nic Cage barely escaping with his life! Harrowing stuff.
2) Strawberry of course! If you didn’t get that I don’t know what to tell you.
3) Nic Cage has an eye dominance issue. And they initially get the hint because he is smashing a video game riiiiight up until he has to use the new fangled monocle information system, and suddenly he just can’t seem to focus! After failing “the bag” though it is pointed out to him that he’s wrong-eye dominant! If only he could get over that he’ll be good as gold.
4) Well, this should be easy, it is a pretty unforgettable scene. Tommy Lee Jones gives him the trick he used back in the day, which is to use a little pericope strapped to his non-dominant eye while driving a few times to help his brain adjust to taking in information.
5) Well, personally the three birds take down two fast movers (jets) and the big bad helicopter guy. As far as the good guys are concerned, Billy’s co-pilot was killed on the ground, Tommy Lee Jones’ co-pilot was killed, Tommy Lee Jones broke his legs, and Nic Cage’s co-pilot was shot in the arm. Bad day for co-pilots, great day for the three principal actors.
Bonus Answer: Double answer this time around. First, obviously, relationships built on a shared traumatic experience never last. So, after the battle Nic Cage once again is perplexed by Sean Young’s insistence that she will continue to be a scout pilot in combat. Disclosing their relationship to the military they aren’t put on any shared missions for then next six months, but as a the war on drugs heats up the strain of both of them alternatively going into combat leads to a break down in the relationship. Years later, after dozens of successful mission in South America, Nic Cage returns to Arizona to take over Tommy Lee Jones’ teaching position in air-to-air helicopter combat. Sean Young continues as a scout for a few years longer, but also ultimately returns to Arizona as well, and the courtship blooms anew. They are married a year later, and have a few children a few years after that, and star in Fire Birds 2 which I describe in the recap. The End.
I do like happy endings, and oddly out of all of the films this is the one that my brain insists on having a happy ending the most. Maybe it is because military films are often so bleak and often don’t have happy endings, and I like Nic Cage and Sean Young. I don’t know.