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.