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Red Eye (2005)

Red Eye. Feature film. (2005, 85 mins) IMDB

...Women as the hero in thrillers seems much more common these days....

A

nother thriller. This one unique and interesting, for the most part, but a small film and short.

Lisa is a hotel manager for a swank establishment in Miami. Rich and important people stay there and she knows them and they love her. Whatever crisis may arise, she knows how to deal with it. Her father lives in a swank house in town and loves her. So, we have our hero.

An important US government official is coming to stay at the hotel. A group of bad guys, we never get to know them except for the leader, wants to kill this person. Enter the leader to blackmail our hero and aid in the assassination.

This thriller happens on a commercial airplane. Reminders of FLIGHT PLAN and AIR FORCE ONE. Our hero is flying from Dallas to return home in Miami. It's a red-eye flight, hence the title. This fact means her father needs a reason to be up during the night instead of asleep in bed. He's watching some TV marathon.

While she's away, the government official is arriving.

Until the first nasty confrontation with the villain, it's all setup and that means there needs to be someway to create interest. The film follows a familiar story line. Our hero is in a rush to get on the plane which is delayed and there are lots of anxious phone calls from her father and the assistant manger back at the hotel. For the most part it works, but it drags on and on because there isn't a lot to this movie. Few characters. It could have been written as a play.

Act I is the setup and getting our characters onto the plane. They spend too much time introducing minor characters before the plane takes off. That's why I say it drags, but since there's not a lot of meat to this film, they needed something to film and even then it's short at 85 minutes including all the credits.

Once on the plane where into Act II. Off the plane we're into Act III.

Bad weather is used to heighten the plane ride as scary and dangerous. That seems very typical. Rain and storms are common in a thriller.

It's on the plane when our hero and villain sit side-by-side. Call it movie magic that two strangers would be seated side-by-side.

He wants her to call the hotel and move the assassination target from one room to another. It's never really explained why they want it, other than to get the target. Given what we know later it doesn't make a lot of sense. The bad guys fire a shoulder launched missile from a boat at the hotel room. They almost get the target. But if that's the killing method, you don't need to worry about what room the person is in. Just change the angle to aim for the room.

Once the plane lands in Miami, our hero stabs the villain in the throat with a pen and makes a run for it. While he's injured, he's able to run after her and a chase ensues. She frantically gets in touch with the hotel to save the target and rushes to be with her father who was threatened with death if she didn't co-operate.

The climatic scene has the villain arriving at the her father's house. Fights and chases and shots and so on until she shoots him and we're done with the story.

Everything that happens in the film is setup. Too much setup.

While this film is not as predictable as many so-called thrillers, it's not completely satisfying because the threat and menace isn't fully developed. I expected something more elaborate for the assassination attempt.

And, for the second night in a row, another Canadian starring in a Hollywood film. The list of such is long.

Posted 2009/02/28 at 17h44ET in Movie Commentary.

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