(2005) dir. Robert Schwentke
This is the second “airplane thriller” subgenre flick that I have seen in the span of a week. And it’s another toothless PG-13 thriller, too. Also, this could perhaps also be filed under “mother-loses-child-and-no one-believes-that-her-child-was-there”, which was maybe done to the nines in the 2004 Julianne Moore film, The Forgotten. While The Forgotten was not great by any means, it was more psychological and surreal. Flightplan is a much more straightforward thriller, with the twist of questioned sanity being foisted upon Jodie Foster’s character, who is a logical and rational type.
Maybe this could have been more interesting if they challenged her world view more. In a sense, that is what the story does, but only for so long as is convenient along the narrative arc. She has to gather herself and fight back with her rationality. She’s an engineer who designed the airplane in which the drama takes place and she always seems not really thrown off too far.
The real problem with the film is it’s gaping plot holes. I mean, that is an easy criticism of most films, and not something that I try to resort to in critiquing a film, but there are so many things that ring so false and wrong. Like getting on an airplane when no one is around, no one seeing a child get on board, sending millions of dollars into a Swiss bank account without negotiating with the terrorist. There is too much and it’s too tedious to list here. Let’s just say that there is more than you can shake a stick at.
All that said, it’s not terrible or anything. It’s just not very good or exciting. It’s fine. It’s there. I’ll soon, no doubt, have trouble remembering if I saw it or not.