A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
A little more zip, and "Hero" might really have worked. It has all the ingredients for a terrific entertainment, but it lingers over the kinds of details that belong in a different kind of movie. It comes out of the tradition of those rat-a-tat Preston Sturges comedies of the 1940s, and when Chevy Chase, as a wise-guy TV boss, barks orders into a phone, it finds the right note.
The movie stars Dustin Hoffman as Bernie LaPlante, lifelong loser. He's a small-time Chicago thief whose wife has thrown him out, whose son doesn't admire him, and whose future is a prison term, for receiving stolen goods. Then one night an airliner crashes right in front of him on a deserted road, and although he's no hero, Bernie is responsible for pushing the plane's emergency door open, and personally rescuing several passengers - including a TV newswoman played by Geena Davis.
If it hadn't been for this little guy, everybody might have died. But they live, while he disappears back into the rainy night.
The TV station offers a reward of a $1 million for the identity of "The Angel of Flight 104," and an imposter appears - a homeless drifter (Andy Garcia) who knows the right answers because he picked up the hitchhiking Hoffman and heard his story.