Review Date: January 10, 2006
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Carl Ellsworth
Producers: Chris Bender, Marianne Maddalena
Rachel McAdams as Lisa
Cillian Murphy as Jackson
Brian Cox as Joe
A redhead hottie meets a blue-eyed boytoy while waiting in line for her flight at the airport. Once in the plane, the girl is surprised to find that she also happens to be sitting next to the charming young lad. She is further amazed to find that he’s actually not that much of a nice guy and really just wants her to help him whack a government official…or he’ll kill her dad! Basically, take NICK OF TIME, replace Johnny Depp with Rachel McAdams, Christopher Walken with Cillian Murphy, and you get the idea. Oh, unfortunately for us, neither film really takes advantage of their ripe premises.
What a weird movie. And I don’t mean “weird” in the sense that it’s an odd film, but rather that its design feels schizophrenic in a lot of ways. Add that to the fact that it barely registers 77 minutes in length (and that’s including the opening credits!) and you’ve got yourself one of the shortest thrillers of all-time, combined with a split-personality of a plotline. Consider how the movie opens on a cute romance note, with the lead couple, Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy, meeting “by chance” in an airport line-up, chatting it up and all the rest of the bullshit that usually goes into fake movie meetings of the sort (I wish I met someone at the airport who would drink with me). The film then downshifts into some heavy thrills once on the plane, as things don’t seem to be as they were, and despite the limited quarters, some potent suspense is generated by the two actors. Both of them come through in their respective parts, with McAdams really selling us on the girl “scared shitless” routine and Murphy really “scaring us shitless” with his nasty blue eyes routine. That bastard was creeeeeeepy. By that point, things were actually rolling along just great as I wondered how in the world McAdams would slip out of her dilemma, and how things would ultimately turn out, i.e. I was actually interested in the characters and invested in their plight.
So what do the filmmakers decide to do once the plane lands on the ground? Well, pretty much everything that would now take away from any believability built into the film, as people are stabbed, cops are tossed into the mix and the airport, in this day and age, suddenly becomes the easiest place to escape anybody, apparently. Things only get more ridiculous after that, as cars are stolen, McAdams suddenly turns into Wonder Woman, accomplishing anything she pretty much desires, and Murphy loses the capacity to retain his testicles as his character suddenly turns into a chump. It kinda felt like they were writing the script as they went and when they ran out of plot on the plane, they scratched out the most cockamamie twists and turns they could and in turn, took me completely out of the film…and its favor. It’s too bad too, because the midsection of this picture was actually pretty damn good. Sadly, the film’s final 10 minutes are beyond ridiculous and you really wonder what happened at that point. All in all, I guess I would still recommend this film to anyone looking to pad an hour and fifteen minutes over their weekend, especially if they like both of the actors and don’t mind weak endings.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian