- In response to the Russians taking over Air Force One, the pilots try to land it Ramstein Air Base where the soldiers waiting will quickly retake the plane. The Russians break into the cockpit and threaten them at gunpoint to get the plane back in the air, and they refuse. The pilot is shot because he refused and the co-pilot is next. He still refuses. Sure, the Russians got the plane back in the air anyway, but that took balls of solid rock.
Pilot: (To the rest of the bridge crew) "No matter what happens, we land this aircraft, is that understood?"
- On top of this, the nearly stopped the villains' plan before it could even began as Air Force One only barely avoided touching down at the Air Base where dozens of soldiers were ready to retake the plane. Unlike Marshall's acts in the rest of the film, Ivan was legitimately scared by this prospect.
- Upon dispatching Ivan, the Big Bad:
Marshall: "Get off my plane!"
- The DVD chapter that he does it in is appropriately titled "Get off my plane."
- The preceding scene is followed by this wonderful moment in the White House.
WH Official: It's the President! We have retaken the plane! (The room erupts into cheers)
- Vice President Kathryn Bennett is an absolute badass in and of herself, providing rock solid leadership through the entire crisis and outright refusing to sign onto a cabinet motion declaring Marshall unable to continue as President when the Secretary of Defense feels he has been compromised in his position by Korshunov, still holding out for Marshall. Truly, Marshall found the right person to take charge if the worst should have been realized.
- Halo Two's Taking the Bullet for Air Force One. Quite apart from being a ridiculously brave act, the sheer skill and timing required surely put that 'Eagle driver' on the same tier of airmanship as Wedge Antilles (Star Wars) and Hoban Washburne (Firefly)!
- And then the Kazakh pilot's victory roll is punctuated by Halo Lead's Sidewinder.
- When the President has been rescued:
Standby... Liberty-2-4 is changing call signs -- Liberty-2-4 is now Air Force One! (cheering ensues)
- Really, the whole sequence with Halo Flight rescuing the plane qualifies from the Vice President's order to "order our fighters back into their airspace. Order them to use any and all means to protect the President" to the "OH SHIT!" the MIG pilots display when the Flight shows up. Awesome.
- And the first warning the Kazakh pilots have that Halo Flight is upon them? Two of their migs immediately get splashed by incoming missiles. The dogfight starts proper with the Kazakhs on the wrong end of 3:2 odds.
- When the Russian soldiers gun down Radek and company just before they leave on a helicopter.
- Hey, what about the woman who, after the phones have all been disabled, suggests using the fax machine to get a message out, and for which the President promises her a promotion to Postmaster General. (The huge smile on her face when her suggestion does work and she is parachuting to safety, probably also qualifies as a Crowning Moment of Funny, as well.)
- Jim Brass takes a bullet to the gut for the president. Certain death, right? WRONG: At the end of the film, during the rescue mission right after the president's wife and daughter have safely been transferred to Liberty 2-4, the President insists that he should be offloaded next because of his severe bullet wound, and is ultimately the only survivor of the rescue outside of the president's family. In other words, saving the president = survival.
- Pretty much all of the president's fights against the terrorists, especially the first one, whom he knocks out by hitting in the face with a friggin STOOL (and then kills with a headshot after he gets up thirty seconds later), and of course Korshunov, whom he kills by wrapping a strap around his neck, pulling open the parachute he was wearing, and finally throws him out of the plane (after the legendary Pre-Mortem One-Liner at the top of the page), snapping his neck. Suffice it to say, his approval ratings will probably go through the roof.
- The cable's about to snap and there's only time for one more trip from the soon-to-crash plane to Liberty 2-4, and Maj. Caldwell insists the President go; the President won't hear of going until Caldwell and Gibbs are safe. At which point Caldwell gets his own Awesome Moment (making it even worse when the traitorous Gibbsnote FREAKING KILLS HIM SECONDS LATER!):
- Vice President Bennett is pretty badass in her own right:
General: "He's asking us to [fire at] Air Force One?"Bennett: "He isn't asking. Your commander in chief has issued a direct order. DO IT!"
- Awesome Music: When Randy Newman's score for Air Force One was deemed too parodic and not serious enough, Jerry Goldsmith was called in and gave us this epic, rousing, chest-thumpingly patriotic theme.
- A villainous example would be the spine-chilling moment when Radek is released from his cell, and his fellow prisoners chant "The Internationale", which Korshunov plays through the whole plane.
- Only for the tables to turn unexpectedly after the President retakes Air Force One: Just as Radek is approaching the helicopter waiting to take him away, he finds himself framed by spotlights as the prison guards get their orders to prevent his escape. Radek, once the ruthless and genocidal leader of an entire nation, spends his last moments fleeing in fear before being gunned down inches from freedom.
- Marshall disarming Gibbs after he has already murdered Caldwell and beating him back long enough to fasten himself into the harness just as Air Force One plunges into the sea, taking the traitor down with it. Laser-Guided Karma at its absolute finest.
Awesome / Air Force One
Harrison Ford as the President of the USA. Recipe for Awesome.