Tis the Summer for airline-related thrillers apparently. Following just a month after the
release of Wes Craven's Red Eye, the Jodie Foster vehicle Flightplan charters its way
into theaters. Coming off as sort of a hybrid between last year's The Forgotten and pretty
much any kind of paranoia-driven thriller, Flightplan is a tense and entertaining film.
Of course, that doesn't mean it's perfect though.
Jodie Foster is a highly talented actress who can excels at playing dramatic and often desparate
roles with sincerity and intensity. While there may be some moments in Flightplan where she
treads into over-the-top territory (or perhaps it just starts to get a bit old or obsessive with her
relentless "where is my daughter?" bit), Foster is pretty much our girl for getting the dramatic
Peter Sarsgaard, who is an underrated actor, normally notable for smaller roles, is very good
here as the airplane's air marshall. His performance may also be a bit much at times, but he plays
most of the part with enough charm and believability. And it was great to finally see the always
reliable Sean Bean play a good guy for a change. Bean is given a chance here to show some heart in
his authoritative role as the plane's captain.
The film is a reasonable hour and a half in length and keeps the audience guessing for pretty
long whether Foster's Kyle really is delusional or not. Some plot elements that unfold may have
some viewers scratching their heads as to their practicality, but in the framework of the thriller
at hand, it works well. The film also offers a decent, although not especially jaw-dropping, twist
at the end. It may not be as hokey as The Forgotten either, but it makes for good entertainment
In comparison with Red Eye, I'd have to say I enjoyed that film more. The interaction
between the leads as well as the acting power seemed to make the film stronger than Flightplan.
Because of the mystery in this film and a resolution that may disappoint those looking for a Shymalan-style
psychological twist, the payoff may not be enough. Red Eye was a more straight-forward thriller
that relied on the terror the female lead experiences from the villain throughout the movie. With
Flightplan, we're left on the edge of our seat to wonder what to expect for the majority of the
film. In fact, it may be drawn-out to somewhat of an excess in that case, but not enough to hurt the
enjoyability of this film.
As far as content goes, there's some violence, mostly nongraphic, with the worst resulting in a
red abrasion on Kyle's face and two other characters getting bloody noses. Language is surprisingly
minor for such a film with just about 4 "s" words and a few others. Overall, it's nice to have a
much milder thriller as far as content goes, but it still could have been pruned just a little
With all said and done, I did enjoy Flightplan. It's a thrilling and tense mystery
despite its minor flaws. While it doesn't carry its pscyhological thriller presentation through to
completion, it's still an engaging hour and a half of film.
- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 9/29/05)
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: It's implied that a
stewardess and male crew member of the plane fooled around in a compartment (he jokes about
wanting to see her crawl through a small space), but we don't see anything.
Vulgarity/Language: 4 "s" words,
3 "g*dd*mn," 1 "J-sus," 1 "Chr-st," 3 "h*ll," 1 "d*mn," 1 "S.O.B.," 3 "G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: Some people have drinks
on the plane. Captain Rich asks Kyle if she's had anything to drink or if she's on any medication and
she says she's taken some anxiety pills since her husband's death.
Blood/Gore: We see Kyle's dead
husband in his open casket a few times but besides being dead and looking lifeless, it's not gory
or bloody in any way; A man has two tiny scratches on the side of his face after Kyle strikes him;
A man shoves Kyle over and she strikes her face on the arm rest of an airplane chair. When she
comes to, she has a red abrasion on her cheek; Kyle hits a man in the face with a fire extinguisher,
knocking him down. We see he has some blood on his ear, nose, and neck from this; Kyle punches a woman
in the face, giving her a pretty bloody nose.
Violence: It's revealed that Kyle's
husband fell to his death somehow; Kyle is thrown up against the pilot's cabin door by the air marshall
when she tries to enter the pilot's quarters; Kyle tries attacking a man; A man punches another when
the lights go out on the plane and there is a struggle; Kyle punches another woman; Kyle hits a man
in the head with a fire extinguisher; It's revealed some other murders have taken place off of the
plane (before the flight); an explosion kills a man, destroying part of the plane
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content (with a few exceptions). However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.