It does not matter how large I write
, it will not make it any more true. Unfortunately the fact that Red-Eye three months ago had a stab at a similar plot and succeeded with more aplomb and without resorting to a plot that bears absolutely no scrutiny at all. In Red-Eye the victim was picked because she had access to a room which could be used for an assassination. In Flightplan she is picked to be a victim because:
a) she has a dead husband
b) she has a very quiet child
d) she is played by Jodie Foster, so will piss a lot of people quite quickly
It turns out that a) was not even a coincidence. So instead the film has to work out when it switches track (as it clearly will) from psychological to action. Unfortunately the more it prepares for the action the less convincing the psychological bit is. And it isn’t. There is only one possible bad guy in the film, so its barely a revelation when he turns bad. The fact that his plan is SO RUBBISH just makes it worse.

Flightplan is about the fifteenth film to try to do Die Hard On A Plane, apparently the Holy Grail of the Die Hard genre. So Passenger 57, Air Force One, Turbulence, Executive Decision, Red-Eye et al* suffer from planes being too claustrophobic. The genre thrives on enclosed spaces but planes are too enclosed, not to mention the fact that its tricky to sneak gins on or use them. Flightplan cheats a bit by making this the biggest passenger plane ever, and then seemingly squanders its acres of extra space (and Cray supercomputer). Moratorium on Die Hard On A Plane please.

Also moratorium on the “Is He Isn’t He An Arab Terrorist”. This character is no so much a cliché that he is impossible to write. He can be both the nicest guy in the world and a terrorist in the same film: thus removing any aspect of suspense the character might bring to the film. Instead they just bring you out of the film, illustrating the writers lack of moxie.

Oh, and isn’t Erika Christensen the poor man’s Julia Stiles?

*Not to be confused with El Al.