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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/11/2005

Three out of five stars
Running time: 97 mins

As plane-based suspense thrillers go, Flightplan has a smooth take off and cruises along nicely for a while, but it hits a rocky patch of turbulence in the third act and goes into a fatal tailspin.

The Background
Plane-based suspense thrillers are all the rage at the moment. We’ve already had Wes Craven’s Red Eye and Samuel L. Jackson’s Snakes on a Plane is due out early next year. In the meantime there’s Flightplan, which is very much a film of two halves.

The Story
Jodie Foster stars as Kyle Pratt, a recently bereaved mother who is accompanying her deceased husband’s body on a transatlantic flight, accompanied by their 6 year-old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawson). After a short nap on the plane, Kyle wakes up to find Julia missing, with the passengers, stewardesses and an undercover air marshal (Peter Sarsgaard) all denying that she was ever there in the first place.

Kyle attempts to search for her daughter with or without the permission of the flight captain (Sean Bean), but as she becomes increasingly desperate, she is forced to question her own sanity.

The Good
Flightplan looks terrific. It’s beautifully designed and German director Schwentke sticks to a visually stunning palette of blues, blacks and brilliant whites. It also contains a couple of explicit references to Hitchcock’s classic 1938 thriller The Lady Vanishes.

Jodie Foster is reliably terrific as Kyle. It’s thanks to her emotionally charged performance that Flightplan remains airborne at all, despite strong support from Kate Beahan, Peter Sarsgaard and Sean Bean.

The Bad
Flightplan is a lot of fun until it all falls apart and backfires considerably. Unlike The Lady Vanishes, which actually made sense, Flightplan will have you shouting at the screen in disbelief, and the incredibly stupid plot twist is an insult to the intelligence of cinema-goers everywhere.

The Conclusion
In short, the first half of Flightplan is very good indeed but it all goes horribly wrong before the end. Worth seeing, but bail out before it crashes.

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Content updated: 15/12/2019 18:12

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