Fire Birds

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Fire Birds (Touchstone Movie)

“Fire Birds” is an action-packed military thriller released in 1990, directed by David Green. The film stars Nicolas Cage as Jake Preston, a skilled pilot in the United States Army tasked with training a group of helicopter pilots in the Apache attack helicopter program. The story is set against the backdrop of the war on drugs in Latin America.

Jake Preston is a veteran Apache pilot with a troubled past, haunted by memories of a failed mission. He is given the assignment to train a group of young pilots in the art of flying the technologically advanced Apache helicopters. These pilots are chosen for a special operation to combat drug trafficking in a Latin American country ruled by a ruthless drug lord, General Andreas, played by Tommy Lee Jones.

As the training progresses, tension rises between Jake and his star pupil, Brad Little, portrayed by Sean Young, as both of them vie for the top spot in the program. Amidst the personal conflicts and rivalries, the team must prepare for a dangerous mission to take down General Andreas and his drug empire.

“Fire Birds” showcases intense aerial combat sequences, as the Apache helicopters engage in thrilling dogfights against drug traffickers. The film also delves into the camaraderie and bonds formed among the pilots as they face the challenges of their mission.

At the heart of the film is the mentorship between Jake and Brad, as Jake imparts his wisdom and experience to his protege, and Brad learns to overcome his own demons. Their journey culminates in a climactic showdown with General Andreas, testing their skills and determination to the limit.

While “Fire Birds” received mixed reviews upon its release, it remains a captivating action film, thanks to its aerial stunts and strong performances by Cage and Jones. The film highlights the bravery and heroism of military pilots, and it serves as an entertaining tribute to the men and women who serve their country in the armed forces.

Overall, “Fire Birds” is an exciting and adrenaline-pumping ride that combines thrilling aerial action with compelling human drama, making it a memorable entry in the action genre of the 1990s.

Additional Details


  • Nicolas Cage: Jake Preston
  • Tommy Lee Jones: Brad Little
  • Sean Young: Billie Lee Guthrie
  • Bryan Kestner: Breaker
  • Bert Rhine: Eric Stoller
  • Dale Dye: A.K. McNeil
  • Mary Ellen Trainor: Janet Little
  • J. A. Preston: General Olcott
  • Peter Onorati: Rice
  • Gabriel López: Johny Signaleer


  • Director: David Green
  • Producer: Bill Badalato
  • Screenplay: Nick Thiel and Paul Edwards

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and