When perusing reviews of it on various places such as Netflix and Amazon - as I generally do before I decide to commit myself to untested waters - I was fairly intrigued at first, thinking the idea of a plane in trouble - not only with a disaster-movie feel but with some kind of supernatural force ( Cthulhu?!?) at play - sounded like my cup of tea. I'm a total sucker for disaster flicks, and at best was hoping this was at least going to be a Twilight Zone knockoff in the vein of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. Though I will readily admit I couldn't fathom how they were going to pull that one off.
Guess what? They didn't. Sometimes, a movie in which the entire story is basically told in one place works well. (See: Frozen, Buried, Devil, or any number of recent films that tried this gimmick and at least succeeded somewhat.)
Sure, they got a nice-looking cast together to bicker amongst themselves in true 'my girlfriend's hotter than yours' fashion, but damn if I couldn't have cared less. The lone character that I found myself actually taking a liking to of course was offed first.
When we start out, we witness a family having a friendly skies adventure with a female pilot in a single engine touring plane. The skies have darkened and it's obvious things have gone awry, with everyone gripping the sides of the plane in fear while the pilot tries to reassure everyone that all is well in the great blue yonder. Of course that's a lie we quickly discover when another plane comes out of nowhere and they clip each other. Crash! But it cuts away before we actually see a nasty impact.
|The cast of 90210 takes a holiday....|
When at the tarmac, a fourth passenger arrives to everyone else's dismay except our pilot. Seems Bruce (Lanson Liboiron) and Sara are a couple, but he is one nervous nelly and causes Sal in particular to poke a great deal of fun. If I were Bruce, I'd have dug right back by mentioning the fact that Sal's name is SAL. Do parents really still name their kids SAL? Is he part of a mob family?
They all board and off they go.
|"We have clearance, Clarence...."|
So in true 'Final Destination' form, we as the audience are privy to a bolt on the tail of the plane loosening. Nothing like giving it away, you know? But up they go, and at first all seems copacetic, with Sara mumbling a bunch of in-flight airplane jargon back and forth with the control tower. Noticing Bruce is exceedingly nervous, she attempts to get him to take the controls and fly the plane himself - because someone scared to death is the perfect candidate - and he does a bit of freaking out which leads to loss of control and a whole lot of dipping and jerking around, knocking that loose bolt into a jamming position, which in turn causes the tail to malfunction. Wow, what a startling turn of events.
The plane is now climbing relentlessly. Sara has no real control and they go well above what is seemingly possible. The sky grows dark and foreboding, and they lose radio communication.
|Dude. Get a life. But not with me...|
Anyway... as if this isn't enough fun, they discover the remedy to the situation at hand is for one of them to go outside the plane and unjam the elevator (on the tail). Um, okay - seriously? I am the only one who cannot fathom this in the slightest? I thought there was this whole altitude decompression thing - was I imagining that? You know, the higher you get and all that? Oh hell, whatever. Cory decides he is the hero and Mel sends him outside to his probable death with a kiss. Yeah, that makes it all worth it.
|"This is going to be awesome on You Tube!!"|
I suppose you could make it a fun drinking game though - just take a drink every time the camera shows a close-up of Jessica Lowndes - you'd be heaving in your toilet before the second act. You might anyway, without the booze.
There is an intention of a twist at the end, but by the time they arrived at it, not only had I already figured it out well beforehand, but I could have absolutely cared less.
Sure, I've seen worse. But I've never seen a more ridiculous 'space monster attacking a handicapped charter plane filled with irritating teenagers' film. Hot damn.