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Jodie Foster might not work much these days, but she does manage to pick the good ones. Flightplan isn’t an action film. There are no gargantuan explosions or manic fight scenes. But you will get caught up in the story, the urgency, and the terror that is the idea of losing your daughter, and possibly your mind, on an international flight.

Jodie Foster plays Kyle (pronounced “Kylie”) Pratt, an aeronautics engineer who has just lost her husband. She’s returning to the United States with her young daughter, Julia, and transporting her husband’s body for burial at home.

In mid flight, Julia disappears, and an already emotionally devastated Kyle has to struggle to convince the passengers and crew that her daughter is not only in danger, but against all evidence to the contrary, that Julia was ever on board. Fighting their, and her own, doubt at her mental stability plus the growing paranoia of everybody on the plane, Kyle does everything possible to save her child.

It had me interested, engaged, and really and truly wondering what was going to happen next. It starts off slowly, but this helps build up the suspense, and growing doubt of Kyle’s sanity. Is she actually crazy, or is there something else being staged?

Now, Flightplan isn’t perfect. I really wasn’t surprised when we got to learn what was actually going on, but I was totally lost as to whose reality we were living in during the movie.

As the distraught Kyle, Jodie’s acting in this one is up to par, We see in the beginning that she’s having problems dealing with one traumatic event, and so throw in her daughter disappearing on a long flight to the States, it’s enough to send her over the edge.

To my utter delight, for the first time in a while, Sean Bean wasn’t the villain. He was just the poor Captain Rich just doing his job, and making decisions as the facts were presented to him. Watching him struggle to try and to think of the best way to placate Kyle is engaging, while still leaving the possibility that he might know more about what’s going on that she does.

Peter Sarsgaard is adequate as the Flight Marshal Gene Carson, exasperated at this possibly delusional passenger, who has a disturbing knowledge of the planes mechanics. I’m just not fully convinced of him as a Flight Marshal. All of the flight attendants are well played, griping about various passengers and where problems might stem from. It’s interesting to watch their reactions to all the events, as it can lead to further clues.

One of the more interesting parts of the movie was the plane itself. That was a marvel of engineering. The set designer got the coach sections correct; it felt mildly cramped, but first class was a marvel of comfort, and mildly disgusting in its luxury. But the truly impressive part was the sheer amount of space on the plane. There were two full bars present, with lounges attached!

Watching Kyle run around the plane hunting for her daughter was engaging for main story reasons, and for the side pleasure of marveling at the plane design itself. If planes like that actually existed, I’m pretty sure I’d cross the Atlantic more often, with those kind of amenities available to me. I am also pretty sure that any real flight techs, engineers, or people with general knowledge of airplane design and mechanics would laugh themselves silly at some of the features of this plane. I can believe a Mercedes in the cargo hold, but an attic space with little but insulation and a giant switchboard system? Hard to fathom the airlines would waste that much space.

There is a small plot hole that only becomes apparent after you’ve seen the film in it’s entirety, but I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Any clues might ruin the suspense of the movie, and that’s it’s main draw feature. It’s worth seeing, folks, so I suggest you buckle up, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.


Erin Frost

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