Tag Archives: airplanes

Flightplan

Some time ago, I mentioned one of the best previews I’d seen in a long time, for a movie where Jodie Foster gets on a plane with her daughter, goes to sleep, and awakens to discover that not only is the girl missing, but nobody remembers seeing her and there’s no proof she even had a ticket for the plane. In the months that passed between my first awareness of Flightplan and seeing it this weekend, I came to realize that it had a fatal flaw. The setup was all laid out in the preview, leaving only the central question of the movie unrevealed. Is the girl alive and kidnapped, or has she been dead all along, and Jodie Foster is just coping poorly?

So, here’s the good news. Despite the film proudly proclaiming to anyone who’ll listen, ‘hey, look over here, we’ve got some kind of twist ending that you’ll never see coming!’, there’s still enough meat to make a satisfying movie experience. Plus, it works on the visceral thriller level, with lots of people to suspect, tight camera angles (I mean, it *is* on a plane; see also Red Eye) and perfectly adequate music.

The bad news is minimal. There’s a plotline that gets completely dropped, and I can’t for the life of me figure why, or what I’m supposed to think there. On the bright side, you can’t tell it was dropped until the movie is basically over, so it won’t bug you while you’re waiting. That, and Jodie Foster is officially old now. Even as recently as Panic Room, there was something there. Oh, well.

Red Eye

Wes Craven understands tension. Whether you care should be enough to determine whether you want to see Red Eye. Although his heroine fears flying and loss of control, nothing works as well for the audience like a good dose of claustrophobia, and the majority of the film delivers.

Rachel McAdams finds herself in the clutches of a professional… well, I don’t know if there’s a specific word for it, but when you need to hire somebody to do something nobody else can, but it’s a bad guy rather than the A-Team. Anyhow, he’s a professional one of those, and he has her where he wants her. Unless she arranges for a government official to be in an exposed position at her hotel, her father will die.

Any time the plot strays from the interactions between McAdams and her assailant, well, as you’ve just read, the plot is far too derivative for its own good. Luckily, the movie very rarely lets that plot get in the way of an otherwise excellent story. And as for the assailant, every bit of claustrophobia provided by the sets was matched by Cillian Murphy‘s depthless blue sociopathic eyes. Typecast he may always be, but as long as he doesn’t trip onto an unfortunately spaced barbecue fork, he’ll never hurt for work. It certainly helps that he can also act.

Special note for fans: Colby Donaldson plays a third tier role as the head Secret Service agent. So, y’know, good on him.