Nicolas Cage stars in the below-par action film Firebirds -- a dying ember from Reagan-era nationalistic jingoism. In this Top Gun retread, Cage plays Jake Preston, a hotshot Army helicopter pilot who is being trained to use the U.S. Army's Apache aircraft to destroy the drug fields of a South American drug cartel. It up to his taskmaster instructor Brad Little (Tommy Lee Jones) to teach Jake humble lessons before he can be trusted to launch into the skies against the drug dealers. While Jake is trying to tame his egoism, he engages in a torrid love affair with flying ace Billie Lee Guthrie (Sean Young). The film was originally titled Wings of the Apache for the U.S. Army Apache assault helicopters that are prominently displayed in the film.
by Paul Brenner synopsis