FLIGHTPLAN

Veering Off Course

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 23, 2005

Starring: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard,
Sean Bean, and Greta Scacchi

Genre: Thriller

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 97 minutes

Distributor: Touchstone Pictures/Buena
Vista Distribution/The Walt
Disney Company

Director: Robert Schwentke

Executive Producer: James Whitaker, Charles J. D.
Schlissel, Robert Dinozzi, and
Erica Huggins

Producer: Brian Grazer

Writer: Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray

Address Comments To:

Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Website: www.disney.com

Content:

(Pa, LL, V, A, DD, M) Light pagan worldview about a woman searching for her lost child in-flight, including woman prays to her dead husband for help; nine light obscenities, one profanity and three blasphemies or strong profanities; violence includes fighting, explosion, shootings, woman hits her head in slow motion, man hit in face with fire extinguisher, and man cuts himself on broken glass; no sexual content or nudity; some drinking and smoking, and woman takes prescription medication; and, grieving, loss, extortion, and deception.

Summary:

FLIGHTPLAN stars Jodie Foster stars as a grieving woman whose daughter vanishes on an in-flight jumbo jet. Flight Captain Rich (Sean Bean) is sympathetic but suspects the woman is delusional. Billed as a “mother’s flight into the heart of fear,” FLIGHTPLAN veers off course as an extended thriller, and the audience – expecting a first-class meal – is served peanuts.

Review:

FLIGHTPLAN stars Jodie Foster as a grieving woman whose daughter vanishes on an in-flight jumbo jet. Did someone abduct her 6-year old, Julia, or did the child wander to a lower deck on this multi-level aircraft? Propulsion engineer Kyle Pratt (Foster) is convinced her daughter is in jeopardy and, as a panicky but intelligent mother, quickly becomes a threat to the safety of the entire flight.

Flight Captain Rich (Sean Bean) is professionally helpful but increasingly concerned about the welfare of his other 425 passengers. He asks Air Marshall Carson (Peter Sarsgaard) to keep watch over the agitated Kyle and, if necessary, to restrain her from posing a danger to the others. Captain Rich is sympathetic but not convinced Kyle’s daughter is even on the flight. Oddly enough, her name does not appear on any passenger manifest.

Kyle, meanwhile, becomes suspicious of some Middle-Eastern travelers and physically attacks one of the men. Carson manages to calm her and repeatedly poses the most important question: Why? Why would someone take her daughter? Is this somehow related to her husband’s recent death? And, who is really in the casket in the craft’s cargo hold?

FLIGHTPLAN is billed as a “mother’s flight into the heart of fear.” Of course, the disappearance of a child easily ranks way up on the anxiety scale, but how can filmmakers sustain that kind of intensity without wearing out the audience’s patience? Two-time Academy Award® winner Jodie Foster seems qualified to bring credibility to this role, but, ultimately, the script just fails to keep the whole thing in the air.

Following up her previous maternal spin in the far better thriller, PANIC ROOM, Foster does what she can here but the implausibilities stack up. That hissing sound is not the fuselage losing cabin pressure, it’s a worn-out audience tired of suspending disbelief at every turn. The actors are on the screen giving their all, but FLIGHTPLAN’s inexperienced writers and director cannot keep the plot from hitting major turbulence.

Playing on the public’s post-9/11 fears and, at times, showing the uglier side of the “crowd mentality,” FLIGHTPLAN takes the path of least resistance. Vindication comes so cheaply, the audience can’t help but feel and resent the emotional manipulation. FLIGHTPLAN doesn’t have much of a worldview. The only possible religious element is when the heroine prays to her dead husband for help. The movie also includes some light obscenities, a few profanities and light violence.

Don’t let the in-flight treats fool you. FLIGHTPLAN veers off course in its final approach, and the audience – expecting a first-class meal – is served peanuts.

In Brief:

FLIGHTPLAN stars Jodie Foster stars as a grieving woman whose daughter vanishes on a jumbo jet. Did someone abduct her 6-year old, Julia, or did the child wander to a lower deck on this multi-level aircraft? Propulsion engineer Kyle Pratt (Foster) is convinced her daughter is in jeopardy and quickly becomes a threat to the safety of the entire flight. Flight Captain Rich (Sean Bean) is sympathetic but not convinced Kyle’s daughter is even on the flight. Oddly enough, her name does not appear on any passenger manifest.

FLIGHTPLAN is billed as a “mother’s flight into the heart of fear.” Of course, the disappearance of a child easily ranks way up on the anxiety scale, but how can filmmakers sustain that kind of intensity without hitting major turbulence? Playing on the public’s post-9/11 fears and, at times, showing the uglier side of the “crowd mentality,” FLIGHTPLAN takes the path of least resistance. Vindication comes so cheaply, the audience can’t help but feel and resent the emotional manipulation. Don’t let the in-flight treats fool you. FLIGHTPLAN veers off course in its final approach, and the audience – expecting a first-class meal – is served peanuts.