Thursday, October 13, 2005

Flightplan (2005)

Jesus Christ, what a self-satisfied movie this is. It tries to be all ambiguous about its central situation, but it's far too clumsy to make it work -- all the film's attempts at misdirection are as transparent as white slacks atop a black thong. So all the scenes where Jodie Foster is made to look like she's crazy are maddening, partly because the filmmakers are so inept and partly because, well, yeah fuckin' right. Like Disney's going to bankroll a movie where a crazed-with-grief Jodie Foster goes insane and hallucinates her kid, thus needlessly endangering all the other passengers? Fucking please. This lunatic premise is compounded by the casting of the lead -- I never thought I'd say this, but Foster is all wrong for her role. Her steely self-confidence is often an asset, but here she never seems like she's lost control of her senses. We believe her even when the film is desperately trying to insist otherwise. Because of all these factors, we know there's a cheap and dumb revelation about the true nature of some of the passengers and/or crew, but when it comes it's a slap in the face. Now, I can believe a lot of things in a movie. When a movie is working, I can believe damn near anything. However, because this movie is so bad, I simply cannot swallow the preposterous evil plot we're served here. It's one thing to ignore plausibility, but it's entirely another for a film to become so ridiculous as to flout its implausibility in our faces like an aggressive hooker trolling for dollar bills. So basically, what this amounts to is a movie wherein the entire Western world has to offer an apology to poor, poor Jodie Foster. The climax couldn't be more smug if Jodie had gotten the entire cast to line up for spankings. In the midst of all this crap, Peter Sarsgaard proves once again that he is one of the most interesting and economical actors Hollywood has, and Hollywood once again proves that it has no fucking idea what to do with Peter Sarsgaard. I hope he paid off his car or something with the check he got from this dross. Also, Erika Christiansen? What the fuck. My respect for the talents of Steven Soderbergh increase every time I see this chick butcher whatever dialogue is given her.

Grade: D+


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