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THIS WEEK: Qui-Gon Jinn/Ras Al Ghul/generic action hero Liam Neeson is an air marshall receiving text messages from an unseen psycho who promises to kill someone on their plane every 20 minutes until 150 million bucks is transferred into an account in the air marshall’s name.
(That was in all the previews, so don’t gripe about spoilers.) Writers: John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach and Ryan Engle. Director: Jaume Collet-Serra.
- Neeson has the tortured badass bit down pat. Same with his American accent. You’d think he’d be too old to be doing the action hero thing now, but he still pulls it off. This character, Bill Marks, is in the “damaged” mode like his character from UNKNOWN, so there’s some depth/backstory.
- Tight plot and pacing. You’ll spend as much time trying to figure out “who” and “how” as you will be paying attention to “what” and “when.” Bonus: You also find out “why.”
- Very nice twist on the first moider. Guarantee you won’t see it coming.
- Ultimate twists good too, though you may have to suspend some disbelief.
- Definitely keeps ya guessing. The film presents enough suspects to make you skeptical about pretty much everyone. (Except maybe the little kid’s teddy bear.)
- Gotta be one of the longest, most dramatic fights in an airplane bathroom on screen, at least in a while.
- Very few funny lines (for obvious reasons) but they work.
- Tight suspense with some good fight scenes and dramatic boom-boom moments. Don’t get your beer (or soda if yer a pantywaist like Pascale) in a flimsy cup ’cause you’ll squeeze it to death a couple times.
- If yer a fan of klos–, claustrib–, cloustrofib–, what’s that word? [MIKE: Clautrophobic?] Yeah, dat’s it! If you dig the kind of movies that take place mostly in one (enclosed) location (like I am), rejoice. Only the first and last few minutes take place outside the plane.
- How do you have a hot stewardess, stacked Julianne Moore, and a couple bangin’ their drums all in the same movie and not have ONE nude or even topless scene? PG-13 for language/violence, that’s how.
- Smokin’ in the boys’ room? Come on, two pieces of duct tape won’t prevent that tiny john from stinkin’ to high hell. But you’ll see why they needed to do it right away.
- Speaking of bathrooms, a guy Neeson’s size is lucky he has room to pee, let alone do a Jackie Chan. Suspend that disbelief again.
- If you’re a nervous flyer to begin with, this won’t help. Same with the TSA. And if you have to fly somewhere in the next couple weeks, you’ll have to buy some sedatives…and extra shorts.
The big screen will make you feel more part of the action. Like I said, I dig these kinds of films to begin with. I like Neeson as an old Mick who can still kick ass. (If you don’t, tho, this won’t convert you.)
There’s a few scenes of vicarious thrills where you’d say, “I’d love to do that!” The hardest thing with these types of movies is you hope the payoff is worth it, or else the whole thing falls apart. There’s a couple corny speeches, and the trailer (as usual) ruins a couple of the best scenes/surprises, but I left satisfied overall. And it wasn’t just the buttered popcorn. Have fun and fly later.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, the airline industry or the TSA. How come nobody got any dang peanuts?!