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Film Review: “I Am DB Cooper” (2022)

"Take the Money and Run"
by Joseph Perry
Yours truly, like so many others, has been fascinated with the mystery of DB Cooper — the epithet of the unidentified man behind the only unsolved case of air piracy in the history of commercial aviation — since hearing about it on the news as a youngster. The person behind the infamous hijacking and escape over the Pacific Northwest has never been found or identified, although director TJ Regan brings an intriguing possibility to the screen in the docudrama I Am DB Cooper.

The film examines elderly Rodney Bonnifield’s claims that he is the man behind the DB Cooper name and skyjacking, and he says that he wants to tell his story and dig up the money he buried along the Columbia River on landing with his parachute now that he is growing older. His assertions and manner of presenting them were convincing enough to persuade two bail bondsmen brothers to contact Regan and ask him to come along as they venture with Bonnifield to where he says he buried the treasure.
Along with real and narrative interview footage, I Am DB Cooper features authentic-looking 1970s set pieces that serve as reenactments of Bonnifield’s life — or at least what he claims to have lived — including criminal escapades, hard partying, a fling with country music artist Rita Coolidge, and of course the infamous hijacking incident. 

Regan has crafted an entertaining, engrossing film that looks at the enduring mystery of DB Cooper and that serves as an interesting character study of a man who seems to know more than many about the details of the Cooper case. You can join in on the treasure hunt and decide what you think when I Am DB Cooper, from Gravitas Ventures, opens in theaters and On Demand from December 9, 2022.

I Am DB Cooper
Directed by: TJ Regan
Written by: TJ Regan and Sharmila Sahni
Produced by: TJ Regan, Sharmila Sahni, Corey Molina, and John Miller. Executive produced by Regan, Isaiah Thomas, Mike Rocha, and Carlos Rocha.
Genre: Crime
Starring: Rodney Bonnifield, Mike Rocha, Ryan Cory, Rainee Blake, Chris Grounds, TJ Regan, and Sharmila Sahni
Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes
Rated: NR
Release Date: December 9, 2022


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