Twitter Plot Summary: Spoofing big budget action thrillers, Bear Force One sees the President’s plane attacked by… bearorists.
Five Point Summary:
1. This looks terrible…
2. Warming up to it. It’s very silly.
3. Bears go boom. Blood everywhere.
4. Yet more bears.
5. Killer Koalas!
Some films are never meant to be taken seriously. Take short film Bear Force One, for example. This is a film that sits almost uncomfortably on the borderline between being absolutely terrible and being absolutely genius because it’s so absolutely terrible. There’s no middle ground here – either you’re in on the joke and you find it funny, or you’re not in on the joke and you hate it. Or, technically, you could also be in on the joke and still find it awful, in which case you have no soul.
The plot, such as it is, sees the President’s airplane Air Force One taken over by an array of terrorist bears and poorly disguised humans who are sympathisers to the bear’s cause. It becomes a reach against time for the President and the remaining survivors to retake the plane by fighting back against the bears and defusing the bomb that is due to explode very shortly. There are twists and turns aplenty, lovingly parodying the twisty turn narratives of those bigger budget action thrillers that usually star Steven Seagal, Kurt Russell or any other action star from the 1980s.
Of course, the fact it’s shot entirely on a badly composited green screen needs to be mentioned, lest you tune in and expect something far more advanced to greet you. It’s blatantly bad, which adds to its charm. The acting too ranges from mediocre to completely awful, although it’s occasionally hard to tell if this is deliberate or if some of the cast genuinely believed this was a real production and were providing their best work. The bears are represented by crude, South Park-style animations which again are knowingly bad, yet all the more entertaining for it as a result. This helps deflect much of the criticism you could aim at Bear Force One, because it knows exactly how poor it is and exaggerates those aspects of its production tenfold. Suffice to say, it positively revels in its low budget naffness.
Laughs are regular and start early, which is for the best given that it has a total run time of 25 minutes. The laughs are generated not just through the script and its frequently terrible yet awesomely cheesy dialogue, but through the performances and that green screen work, all of it combining to make something surprisingly more than the sum of its parts. That’s without even mentioning the “bearorists” who attack the airplane, who amuse not only through their growls and badly animated movements, but also by throwing in as many different types of bear at us that, if you were entirely cynical going in, you would soon be won over by the onslaught of bears and over the top gore that ensues. In any case, once a squad of killer koala bears show up, that’s the make or break point of the film. That or the final fistfight showdown between the President and a bear. And if that doesn’t sell it for you, how about the catchy chorus from gay band Bear Force One’s song, “Bear Force One”? you’ll be singing it for days, guaranteed, and the film will be one that won’t be forgotten all that easily.