Flightplan

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Jodie Foster is the least sexy person on the planet. It’s a role she plays well; possibly even better now that she had some surgery or something that makes her face permanently grimace a la the Joker. Maybe it’s just her normal sour expression; she’s very good at being dour and businesslike. Normally, I am totally behind any chick who gets to be in movies and not bare her boobs or cleavage once. However, Jodie Foster has always gotten on my nerves for some reason. I think the last movie I liked her in was Freaky Friday.

Ms. Foster plays Kyle, a woman who was living in Germany with her husband and daughter. Her husband inexplicably jumped off a roof, and now his distrought widow is taking their daughter Julia along with his corpse back to the USA.
Conveniently, Kyle is an airplane engine designer, and just happened to have built the engines that are flying the super-duper double-decker jumbo jet that she, Julia, Julia’s touchingly one-armed teddy bear, and a host of random stereotypical characters are flying in. Once aboard the plane, Kyle and Julia change to some empty seats at the back of the plane, where they can stretch out better. When Kyle awakens from her nap… her daughter is GONE!

Frantically, Kyle searches the plane for her, enlisting the help of reluctant flight attendants and even the captain. This is where she starts flipping her shit and you just want to smack her, as does the rest of the flight crew.This is where the movie gets good– it becomes both a disaster film AND a made-for-Lifetime-Channel ovaries-in-peril flick of the “OH GOD, WHERE’S MY BABY!!?!” variety. Watch as Kyle goes more and more nuts looking for her daughter. She even goes so far as to accost some Arab-looking guys whom she claimed were spying on her back in Germany.

The more Kyle flips out, the more information we get from the flight attendants as their exchanged eyerolls turn to concern for their safety from this freaky woman: that nobody was assigned to her daughter’s seat. Nobody with her daughter’s name was on the passenger roster. Then it is revealed… her daughter died in the hospital with her husband; he dragged her with him when he jumped.

Or *did* she? This is where the plot thickens a lot. I won’t ruin it for you, but gallons of cheese drips off of the screen from here on out. Of course there’s a bad guy who confesses his entire plot to her along the way to enlighten the audience (do bad guys really spew monologues at their enemies in times of peril letting them know how they pulled off the heinous deeds they did? If so, why don’t we just carry around more video cameras to tape a confession?). The predictably lame dialog and cheesily sarcastic bad guy only serve to add more cheese to this Jodie Foster fondue.

This movie could have been good. It was vaguely hitchcockian at times, even. I think it was a combination of Kyle’s massive freaking out and the unbelievableness of the badguy and his inside henchman that made this flick too cheesy for words. To be fair, the Bad Guy did get some lame-yet-good sarcastic bad guy lines, like “Hey! Your husband didn’t jump off that roof! He flew!” Jodie also gets some Schwarzeneggerian one-liners like when she discovers the requisite bomb on the plane and detonation device, the Bad Guy says, “What are you going to do? Blow us both up? ” to which she eloquently replies, “No, just you.”

To sum up, this movie will fill a portion of that hole in your heart that hasn’t been satisfied since Passenger 57 (this hole will be completely filled with the forthcoming Snakes On A Plane, out this summer). If you like cheesy disaster movies, and acting so understated it’s overdone (as Jodie Foster has perfected), this may be the one for you.

One Response to “Flightplan”

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