12 War Movies from the 90s So Bad, They're Actually Good
Some war films released in the 90s are so bad, they loop back around and become must-sees for all the wrong (or right?) reasons.
1. In the Army Now (1994)
Pauly Shore and Andy Dick enlist in the Army Reserve thinking it's a vacation, only to be sent to Chad to build a well. What could go wrong? Well, everything. They accidentally detonate a grenade and go AWOL, ending up as hostages. In the end, they become heroes by defeating enemy soldiers with a flare gun and a bag of jellybeans. Yeah, you read that right. The movie didn't win any awards, but it's a laugh-fest for sure.
2. Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
This Charlie Sheen-led spoof picks up where Top Gun left off but goes off the rails—way off. Sheen's character, Topper Harley, is sent on a Rambo-esque mission to Iraq to rescue hostages. Along the way, he battles an evil Saddam Hussein look-alike with fists, chicken arrows, and even uses a literal handful of jelly to defeat enemies. With an absurd kill count displayed on-screen, it's over-the-top in the best way possible.
3. Delta Force 3: The Killing Game (1991)
So, you've got Chuck Norris' younger brother, Mike Norris, stepping in to fill some pretty big shoes in this straight-to-video spectacle. The mission? Infiltrate a terrorist base to neutralize a chemical weapon. Instead of strategy, they use a lot of brawn and bullets. Cars flip, stuff explodes, and the bad guy falls into a vat of his own toxic weapon. The movie barely broke even, but it's a delightful mess to watch.
4. Fire Birds (1990)
Nicolas Cage in a war movie, flying Apache helicopters. Do I need to say more? He plays Jake Preston, a chopper pilot sent to Latin America to take down a drug cartel. His main obstacle isn't just the enemy; it's mastering the art of flying itself. After an older pilot dies, he's all set to take revenge. He takes on an enemy chopper in a duel, winning by shooting it down with a well-timed missile. Trust me, it's so bad it's awesome.
5. McHale's Navy (1997)
Based on a '60s TV show, this Tom Arnold star vehicle is all about a retired naval officer pulled back in to stop an eco-terrorist. The ragtag crew uses a decommissioned ship and plans involving casino heists and cattle—yes, cattle. They lure the villain onto their ship with fake treasure and then blow him up. This flick only grossed $4.5 million against a $31 million budget, but it's a comic treasure for its sheer audacity.
6. Rough Riders (1997)
This one is a mini-series turned into a movie, and Tom Berenger as Teddy Roosevelt? Come on! Rough Riders head to Cuba to fight in the Spanish-American War, but the movie often forgets the war part and focuses on mustaches and machismo. They face off against Spanish troops on San Juan Hill and win, but not without some melodramatic dying scenes and terrible Spanish accents. It's historically messy but oh-so-watchable.
7. Air America (1990)
Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. flying planes for a sketchy airline during the Vietnam War—what could possibly go wrong? They realize they're part of a covert operation to smuggle drugs and weapons. When Gibson's character finds out his boss plans to leave him high and dry, they orchestrate a mid-air heist, stealing a plane loaded with cash. It's packed with one-liners and slapstick humor, making it less of a war film and more of a war circus.
8. Navy SEALs (1990)
Charlie Sheen again, but this time, he's a rule-breaking SEAL (because of course he is). They're on a mission to destroy a cache of weapons in the Middle East but discover American-made Stinger missiles among the stash. Despite orders to retreat, they go rogue to recover the missiles. It's got stereotypical villains, pointless romance, and lots of shouting. It's essentially an action figure set come to life.
9. G.I. Jane (1997)
Oh, Demi Moore, what were you thinking? She stars as Jordan O'Neil, the first woman to undergo U.S. Navy SEAL training. The movie tries hard to make a point but ends up being a mishmash of shaved heads, one-arm push-ups, and gratuitous action. O'Neil proves her worth in a final mission where she rescues the team leader. The message is good, but the execution? Not so much.
10. The Peacemaker (1997)
Nicole Kidman and George Clooney star in this thriller about stopping nuclear terrorists. Sounds promising, right? But the plot gets lost with random car chases and an awkward romance. They track down the terrorists to New York City, and Clooney's character defuses the nuke by—get this—cutting random wires. It's suspenseful but for all the wrong reasons.
11. Toy Soldiers (1991)
A group of rebellious teens in a boarding school have to fend off terrorists who have taken them hostage. Instead of panicking, these kids turn into junior commandos. They use homemade bombs and even orchestrate an aerial assault using model planes. The teens win the day, but it's hard to take any of it seriously. It's the Home Alone of war movies.
12. Double Team (1997)
Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman teaming up to stop an international terrorist. Rodman plays an arms dealer with a penchant for hair dye, while Van Damme is a retired spy. The final showdown happens in Rome's Colosseum with a tiger, land mines, and Rodman's basketball skills. It's like the director threw every action-movie cliché into a blender.