Rarely have I been so annoyed by a film. Perhaps this is because "Flightplan" starts off with such promise before descending (ha ha) into a laughably ridiculous, clichéd, and downright boring final third. The movie develops as a fascinating and emotionally gripping story of a delusional woman who is convinced her dead daughter accompanied her on board as has been kidnapped.
**SPOILERS** ... but surprise! She is, in fact, correct! Coincidentally, none of the 500 passengers saw the girl or witnessed her kidnapping. Coincidentally, the air marshal and a flight attendant are in cahoots to orchestrate a hijacking threat, demand a $50 million ransom, and attempt to pin the entire thing (including the on-board ransom demand) on a woman who has no idea what is going on. Right.
What surprises me is how far off base Roger Ebert's review was of this film. He writes, "Often in thrillers we think of obvious questions that the characters should be asking, but do not, because then the problems would be solved and the movie would be over." That's right, and "Flightplan" is a textbook example. Jodie Foster's character figures out the entire conspiracy, gains control of the situation, is able to take the hijacker's gun ... and then gives the gun to the captain, has him leave the plane, and seals all the exits so as to be alone with her (surprise!) still-armed foe. Sure, this allows for yet another limping-attacker-slowly-chasing-resourceful-woman climax, but the repeated blatant assaults on the audience's common sense and credulity are simply too much to take.
"Flightplan" seemed promising as it slowly established the impossibility of the actual explanation it provides. There is the possibility of a good movie in there, but as it stands, "Flightplan" is an enormous cheat.
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