Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Flightplan (2005)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Warning: I’m going to give away some spoilers. I’m not giving away the ending and I’m certainly not giving away that much. However, if you’re not into hearing too many details, don’t read this review just yet.

I remember seeing the coming attractions for flight plan. Mother and daughter are traveling on a plane. The mother, played by Jodie Foster, falls asleep and awakens to find the daughter missing. Since they’re on a plane and no parachutes are missing, the mother is left to assume that the daughter is still on the plane. That’s about all the trailers revealed.

After seeing the trailers, I had to wonder how they could fill almost two hours of film based on just that. Part of the movie deals with why Kyle (the mother) and Julia (the daughter) are on the plane. It turns out that the father died, apparently having killed himself by jumping off of the roof of an apartment building. The bulk of it has to do with what exactly happened.

This is why I’m warning you about the spoilers. I can’t really write an honest review without giving away at least some of the details. For starters, the insanity card is played way too early to be what really happened. Even though you know she’s not crazy, you have to wonder just a little bit. After Kyle discovers Julia missing, she finds (the hard way) out who the air marshal is. The air marshal later informs Kyle that she’s actually transporting two coffins, one of which is for her daughter. There’s no record of Julia having been on board. He even provides evidence that she picked up two bodies from the coroner before leaving.

Kyle starts seeing conspiracies everywhere. There are two passengers who are of Middle-Eastern origin who Kyle swears were looking at her from an apartment across the street. Also, she makes a point to tell the captain that two members of the flight crew weren’t exactly trying that hard when everyone was supposed to be looking for Julia.

You do eventually realize that something major is going on. It actually takes a while to figure out what, though. The writers did a good job of stretching out the story. When I first walked out of the theater, I thought to myself that I had just wasted $6.50 of my hard-earned money, but I began to think and I realized that there really was more to it than that. (Which is why I’m withholding a lot of the details.)

There were two major problems that I had with the story. First, I found it very convenient that no one saw Julia get on. Given that we’re talking about a plane with two floors of seats and a good-sized crew, not one person could corroborate that Kyle had gotten on with someone. The second point was that the whole thing with the Middle-Eastern passengers didn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t really mean anything that they happened to be across the street. Plus, they had an alibi for that night, which was never fully checked out.

The entire story seemed to be one of convenience. Things just happened the way that they needed to happen in order for there to be a two-hour movie. What would have happened if someone had been able to definitively say that they saw Julia? I’m going to give the movie four stars. Despite the complaints, the movie was at least entertaining. I’m going to have to see this movie again, just to be able to pick up on things that I didn’t see before. 

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