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Flightplan Movie Poster


Genre: Action
Rated: PG-13
Directed by
: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean, Erika Christensen, Kate Beahan
Released by: Touchstone Pictures

In Short: Even two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster can't make this in-flight thriller about a mother searching for her lost daughter soar above too many implausible moments.

Skidding Off the Runway
Implausible "Flightplan" Makes for a Tough Trip
By Jenny Peters

At take-off, "Flightplan" deceivingly has all the signs of a promising thriller, including Oscar winner Jodie Foster’s return to the screen after a long hiatus. Foster has always been worth watching, regardless of what film she is in. In this case, if she hadn’t been the lead, "Flightplan" would really crash and burn. As it is, she barely keeps it interesting enough to ride through to the end.

The story begins in Berlin, where Kyle’s (Jodie Foster) husband is killed in an accident. The plot gets moving when she boards a jumbo jet bound for America, with her young daughter and her husband’s coffin in tow. As the long flight over the Atlantic unfolds, the little girl mysteriously disappears, and Foster frantically searches for her as the crew and passengers doubt the child’s very existence.

The inherent problems with "Flightplan" are twofold. First, there are too many moments when logic is thrown into the jet stream, as if director Robert Schwentke expects viewers to simply ignore giant plot gaps. Unfortunately, these leave moviegoers to ask obvious questions that everyone on the plane is apparently too dumb to wonder about (including our heroine). The second problem is predictability, unforgivable in a thriller. It is so easy to figure out who the bad guys are that even the obvious McGuffin of a couple of Arab guys as possible suspects isn’t enough to provide any real suspense.

The Grand Guignol blood-fest at the film’s climax does nothing to improve matters. The only redeeming thing about “Flightplan” is Jodie Foster's performance. For a much more plausible tale of a mother intent on protecting her child, rent "Panic Room," Foster's last film, instead.

(Updated 01/21/08 NJ)

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