Reviewed by Ken Carman for OEN
Yet another flawed tough guy role for Liam Neilson. Will he ever start doing Kindergarten Cop or Tooth Fairy type movies? God, I hope not. Admittedly he’s good at it: being a classic character actor. I can’t imagine him being so lost in a role we had to think about whether it’s him or not: not only because it’s not his forte’, but he’s so frickin tall.
This is a very well plotted movie, though there are two possible errors. Why did one of the folks guilty of setting up this scenario suddenly enable our hero to get his gun back, and why would the other suddenly decide to give up on the plot? Both can be explained, or rationalized might be more accurate, but those rationalizations are a bit of a stretch in my opinion.
There is a lot of violence, but that’s necessary to the plot and the nature of the characters, in my opinion. A movie where a very flawed air marshal is set up through killing a passenger in flight every 20 minutes isn’t going to be Cinderella.
It is a bit one dimensional but I actually appreciated that because it kept the plot linear while they toss in a lot of twists that keep you guessing. Yes, “linear” and “twist” may seem a bit of a contradiction, but that’s the way you build mystery into a script. And other tension device: our hero is fighting to regain his reputation, and trying to explain he is not the person hijacking the plane. Indeed, as he un-peels this plot to hijack onion he discovers it’s a lot more than a hijacking, while trying to find a texting murderer. Just about the time passengers might rebel and go after who they now perceive as the “terrorist”/hijacker they discover it too. They’re so much more than a mad mob. For one always annoyed at over simplistic characters, I appreciated that… though the actual hijackers could have been more complex. But with all that’s going on here in-depth discussions with villains would have just gotten in the way. The script offered about as much as it could and keep up the pace. And it is “well paced.”
While mostly shot on a mock plane set, one assumes, the explosion on the plane makes seeing it on the big screen worthwhile. Some of the shot values are interesting where we get power shots looking up from a phone or a texting device, but this is no Citizen Kane or Psycho. So the camera work will probably never win an award, though the plane explosion and what happened after might qualify for being nominated for one. Win? Eh, with so many special effects laden movies these days with, otherwise blase’, to bad, scripting: probably not win.
A definite 4.
Welcome to Our End of the New movie reviews. One poster: don’t bother. Two posters: eh, OK, but a lot of problems here. Three: Good movie, just at least one problem. Four: very good. Five: if you don’t go you’re missing out. Added comments at the end may refer mainly to the nature of the movie such as special effects, incredible sound or scenery that might make it best seen in a movie theater depending on your set up at home.