No layover, please
Flightplan not ready to leave the hangar
The new Jodie Foster vehicle plays itself off as a thinking person’s version of Red Eye-meets-The Forgotten, but is nothing more than gourmet mayonnaise, a wannabe Hitchcockian thriller with a first class budget saddled with coach writing that never gets beyond taxiing, let alone taking off.
Enter Ms. Foster as the red-eyed widow of a man who took a noser off of their Berlin apartment complex. With her young daughter, they load up the casket in the hold of a humongous new jetliner that Foster has had a hand in designing and take off for the scheduled funeral in the States. Already in the gray area of wiggie-ness due to prescription anti-anxiety medication, she is alarmed to wake in mid-flight to find her youngster has seemingly disappeared into thin air; no one recalls seeing the child board, and there is no record on the manifesto. Time for Foster to kick into she-bear mode and tear into anyone she suspects of being part of her child’s vanishing act.
The main narrative problem is that Foster is presented south of loopy from the very beginning, so anyone who has seen this type of thing before automatically knows that in the time-honored nothing-is-as-it-seems mode, that is not the answer and a big plot twist looms ahead. Unfortunately, the twist is pretty much an anti-twist as the tortured mechanizations of the scribes reveal a more mundane force at work, one that would have been acceptable from a Movie of the Week toss-off or the latest direct-to-video effort from Jean-Claude Van Damme, but here seems like an excessive waste of resources coming from the talent and budget involved.
I started hating this movie 15 minutes into it, which built up to outright loathing when it switched over to the inane mechanizations towards the end, with a maudlin, manipulative soundtrack and outright cheats to misdirect. Add to that an asinine Master Plan that seems designed by the conspirators to go wrong at every possible opportunity. The scripters were obviously making the tech issues up as they went along, and never went back to even Google a fact check.
Easily the most condescending movie I’ve seen in quite a while, a film that assumes its target audience is either comprised of morons or just very stoned.