The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
You've gotta hand it to "Terminal Velocity:" This movie may be dumb as a box of shredded wheat, but it has the damnedest action sequence I've seen since Arnold Schwarzenegger blasted the bad guy with the missile in "True Lies." Nastassja Kinski is locked in the trunk of a red Cadillac, which is taken aboard a cargo plane. Charlie Sheen pursues in another plane, walks on its wing, hauls himself aboard the cargo plane, and then finds himself, Kinski and the Cadillac all falling through the air - with a villain on the hood shooting at him. This is an assignment for Houdini.
Sheen's behavior in this and other scenes is so close to the self-parody of his work in the "Hot Shots!" movies that he almost seems to be telling us something - such as, that he takes the movie with less than perfect seriousness. No wonder. It's based on such a goofy premise that with just a nudge here and a pun there it could easily have become "Hot Shots Part Cinq" and taken advantage of the franchise. It's not so much that Sheen can keep a straight face in any situation, as that he always seems to be testing himself with the situations he gets himself into.
In "Terminal Velocity" he plays a skydiving instructor so reckless he's had 12 safety violations in the last month. He's the kind of guy who paints "Kiss This" on his derriere and paraglides into downtown Phoenix. One day a beautiful blonde (Kinski) turns up at his skydiving school and wants an instant lesson. That sets off a long chain of events involving mistaken identities, stolen gold, three-legged dogs, and the KGB (or, as Sheen calls it, "the KG used-to-B"). By the end of the movie, needless to say, nothing less than the survival of the free world is at stake.
I dare not reveal too much of the plot, although it's so absurd that even Kinski giggles while explaining its finer points.