Flightplan

"Good"

Flightplan Review


Here's a film that's guaranteed not to be playing as your in-flight movie any time soon.

The concept is a simple as they come: Distraught Kyle (Jodie Foster) loses her daughter on a jumbo jet. Where the hell could she have gone?

The idea is simple, but journeyman director Robert Schwentke does at least throw in a few good spins for us. Kyle is headed from Berlin to New York because her husband has mysteriously died. Kyle also happens to be an aircraft engineer, and the jet she's flying home on - a double-decker monster that seats over 400 people - is one she helped design (a fact that will be of critical importance later). (It's hard to describe much more of this film without giving away some of its surprises, so if you're intent on seeing it, best to skip ahead two paragraphs.)

While Kyle is napping midway through the flight - and with hubby's coffin in the cargo hold below - daughter Julia vanishes. Kyle starts to look for her. No one's seen her, not the flight attendants, not the neighboring passengers, nobody. In fact, no one remembers her getting on the plane at all, and when she finally gets the captain (Sean Bean) out of the flight deck, she can't even produce Julia's boarding pass. Convinced against all probability that Julia has been kidnapped, Kyle becomes increasingly panic-stricken as she demands repeated searches of the plane, accuses an Arab of planning to hijack the jet, and generally going insane until she has to be restrained by a kindly air marshal (Peter Sarsgaard), who gives her his begrudging sympathy.

Given that we've seen Kyle hallucinate up to three times in the first five minutes of the film, all signs seem to point to this being an elaborate psychosis, and for the first hour of the film, there's no evidence to the contrary. In fact, the clincher comes when the good captain gets news from Berlin that Kyle's husband isn't the only one who's dead: So is the daughter.

There's honestly nothing in the first two-thirds of the film to indicate that we're dealing with anything other than a crazy, crazy, crazy woman here - but let's not forget this is Hollywood, and a monster twist finally flies at us out of nowhere.

Critics and viewers will be quick to peg this as another Panic Room, and the similarities are uncannily accurate (most notably in the choice of lead actress). But for all its manipulative histrionics, Panic Room made sense, and Flightplan does not. None at all, really. To believe its fundamental setup -- that no one on a 400-passenger transcontinental flight and no one at the airport ever saw the girl get on the plane - requires a Herculean suspension of disbelief. Ditto buying that no one would think to call, say, Kyle's parents to ask them if she's bringing her (living) daughter with her on her trip. Besides, anyone who's traveled with a child knows that unobtrusiveness is not a strong point.

And still, Schwentke proves that really great production values can almost make you forget about failings in the script department. Flightplan's "E474" is a hell of an impressive set, with secret compartments and trap doors and hatches leading to scary computer rooms and ominous crawlspaces. Never mind that whoever designed such a plane would have been fired after proving how easy it is for passengers to access any part of it unhindered, it sure does look good on film.

Aka Flight Plan.

First class really sucks!



Flightplan

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd September 2005

Box Office USA: $89.6M

Box Office Worldwide: $223.4M

Budget: $55M

Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures

Production compaines: Touchstone Pictures, Imagine Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 65 Rotten: 108

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Kyle Pratt, as Carson, as Captain Rich, as Stephanie, as Obaid, as Ahmed, as Fiona, Shane Edelman as Mr. Loud, Mary Gallagher as Mrs. Loud, as Brittany Loud, as Rhett Loud, Jana Kolesarova as Claudia, as Elias, Marlene Lawston as Julia, as Estella

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.