Sunday, October 23, 2005

Movies: Flight of the Phoenix

Last weekend, against my better judgment, I watched Flight of the Phoenix with Linzy. I didn't think it was particularly good. In fact, it was pretty bad.

The movie is a remake of a movie of the same name from 1965 about a plane that crashes in the middle of a desert (in '65 the Sahara, in '04 some crazy desert between Mongolia and China). For a variety of flimsy reasons, there is little to no hope of rescue so the passengers decide they can just rebuild the wreckage into a new plane and fly out of the desert. Throw in some crew tensions and some desert nomad attacks and you have yourself a movie. Or at least you do if you're a lazy Hollywood script writer.

The highlight of the movie came about 15-20 minutes into the film when the actual plane crash happened. That was sort of cool. Otherwise there wasn't a whole lot too the film.

My biggest complaint with the movie (other then the completely insane 'plot') was the rather sub-par acting. In particular I didn't like Dennis Quaid and his attempt at a cocky pilot who really does care deep down. He basically just came off as a jerk most of the time. After all, he was the one who decided to fly into the sandstorm rather then losing an hour of time by stopping somewhere and refueling.

However, I did like Giovanni Ribisi's performance as Elliott. He was the plane designer who determines that they can rebuild the plane and fly out. He was convincingly weird and cold-hearted.

The other obvious issue with the movie is the totally unbelievable plot. If you watch the movie, you pretty much have to accept the fact that nothing after the opening credits is even mildly believable. Because of that, I won't waste much time nit-picking the plot. But I do have to mention that one of the highlights of ridiculousness for me was at the very end when it becomes apparent that in order to fly out of the desert pretty much everyone is going to have to lay on top of the wings and hang onto two little bars behind a slanted Plexiglas shield, during takeoff and landing, and the duration of a 200 mile flight. Umm. Yep.

Now, it could be that I was expecting too much from the film. I knew the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were not good, but Linzy's dad talked up the original significantly so I was thinking that the base story had to be at least somewhat decent. So maybe if you go in with really rock bottom expectations you'd be able to enjoy the film. But I didn't really like it.

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