Directed by Dominic Burns
Distributed by Image Entertainment
I can write about a movie I love at some length. If a movie has worked well, then I can delight in praising its various aspects. Likewise, it’s easy to drone on and on about a film I loathe, simply because I feel the need to exact some sort of revenge on a flick that has cost me my time and patience. Good or bad, great or terrible, both types of reviews are fairly easy to put down on paper in short order.
And then... then there are movies like Airborne. Neither good enough to praise nor bad enough to vilify, Airborne is a movie that defies you to spill an appropriate amount of ink on it. The effect of watching and reviewing a film like Airborne isn’t unlike having a tooth professionally removed. Sure, it’s not as though there’s a great deal of pain involved, but you really just don’t wanna be there.
The film opens with a single flight departing Britain in the middle of a raging storm. Once the plane is in the air, we meet the various characters who will populate the rest of the film. Some are likable, some are assholes, and all are fairly uninteresting. When the passengers begin to vanish one by one, our remaining heroes discover that there may be a conspiracy afoot. A conspiracy involving potential terrorists and a priceless Chinese vase held in the plane’s hull, which may very well lead to the end of the world. Or something.
This movie is about as horror as Die Hard. There are zero genre elements to be found in the film’s first hour, with the exception of an early half-hearted kill and a weird “wobbly” image effect that reminds one of the cue given in old sitcoms that a flashback or dream sequence was approaching. I’d be fine with the lack of horror throughout so long as the story is intriguing or the payoff is decent. No such luck on either count.
The story is both derivative and deadly dull, bringing to mind any number of Syfy Channel Originals. Hell, I take that back. A Syfy flick would at least attempt to be fun. Sadly, there is no fun to be found here whatsoever. The movie trails from scene to scene with practically no momentum, none of the characters are particularly interesting, and the “climax” and final twist are just awful.
Mind you, the movie isn’t entirely without merit. While the characters are all cardboard-thin, the actors all do their best with what they have to work with (not much). Hamill, in his brief amount of screen time scattered throughout the film, creates a believably weary character with his unwitting flight controller (who contributes nothing to the plot). His opening voice-over gives one hope that we’ll be getting a good movie and that he’ll be the lead. Sadly, neither comes to pass. The rest of the cast does an admirable job, but they cannot elevate the film beyond its ho-hum script.
To be fair to the director, the film is quite well shot, and there is the occasional bit of energy sprinkled throughout. I wouldn’t mind seeing another film directed by Mr. Burns provided he has another solid cast and a better script to work with.
Image has given this flick the dump onto DVD it deserves, presenting it with a perfectly adequate image and decent sound. The bonus features are non-existent, however. Seriously, there is nothing in the way of extras here. And you know what? I suppose that’s just fine. I don’t know if I needed to see a making-of or listen to an audio commentary concerning the production of this film.
Folks, listen: There are far, far worse films out there. Even so, Airborne doesn’t deserve your time. Life’s too short, and there are much better films out there to check out. So do yourselves a favor: avoid.
No special features.
Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Not a damn thing.
1 1/2 out of 5
0 out of 5