Afterburn Review

An Airforce widow finds a hardy lawyer to help her challenge her late husbands' accusation of pilot error for his fatal crash.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1992

Running Time:

103 minutes



Original Title:


Another fight-the-system, based-on-a-true-story, made-for-TV movie (i.e. some swearing, but no sex or violence) with a shaky A-list cast lending their talent to a wobbly B-drawer script to pay tribute to a real-life sufferer.

Lively Laura Dern marries into the stuffy air force and, after half an hour of aviation-related double entendres, is widowed when hubby Vincent Spano crashes his fighter. The bureaucrats want to blame pilot error but Dern is sure the machine is at fault and, helped by tough lawyer Robert Loggia and sympathetic airman Michael Rooker, brings lawsuit against the company that built the winged deathtrap.

Although Dern tries hard to be obsessive and unusual, the script makes her the sort of unbelievable heroine who doesn't want money but is determined to spend years in court to make a point.

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