Biggles (1986) starring Neil Dickson, Alex Hyde-White, Fiona Hutchison, Peter Cushing directed by John Hough Movie Review

Biggles (1986)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Alex Hyde-White in Biggles (1986)

Lots of Niggles

Jim Ferguson (Alex Hyde-White) is a busy CEO of a New York advertising company who when he is not dealing with issues at work is dating the pretty Debbie (Fiona Hutchison). But the night before an important product launch he receives a strange knock at the door from the mysterious Air Commodore Colonel William Raymond (Peter Cushing) which is followed by something even stranger when Jim finds himself back in time and 1917 where he meets ace pilot James 'Biggles' Bigglesworth (Neil Dickson), rescuing him from his burning plane. But it doesn't stop there and Raymond informs Jim that Biggles is his time twin and whenever Biggles needs him Jim will travel back to the past. As Biggles is trying to destroy a secret German weapon Jim is going to have to help defeat the enemy in 1917.

I can kind of remember when "Biggles" came out because during the build up there was excitement over the movie adaptation of a boys own hero and when it came out many were hugely disappointed by it all. I never got to watch it back in 1986; I saw it once in the early 90s and was unimpressed by it. Having recently watched it again over 25 years after it was made I can't say it is one of those movies which get better with age, in fact it gets worse.

Neil Dickson in Biggles (1986)

So what is wrong with "Biggles"? Well firstly the movie is not about "Biggles" but about Jim Ferguson, the American who ends up travelling back in time to 1917 where he is twinned with Biggles. It really doesn't work because in my book this movie should be all about the daring do of James 'Biggles' Bigglesworth not the sappy Jim Ferguson who always finds himself in comical situations be it when he arrives in 1917 or when he returns back to the present. And unfortunately with the focus on Jim the sense of adventure is lost and instead ends up more about the comedy of this strange set up which unfortunately is rarely funny.

But unlike some movies from the 80s which fill you with a sense of nostalgia all that "Biggles" achieves is to make you cringe at what was wrong with the era. Right from the start there is the elecro rock soundtrack which now sounds incredibly cheesy but there are also the characterisations with Jim Ferguson being as cheesy as the soundtrack. About the only things which impress when it comes to "Biggles" is the various locations and a couple of flying shots but that is not enough to sustain an audience's attention.

What this all boils down to is that "Biggles" didn't work for me as not only is it not a movie about Biggles but now it has become cheesy due to it being extremely dated. Unfortunately it doesn't even entertain for being cheesy and dated.