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undercooked and too short, but there are some exciting moments
A B-movie with maybe a slight notch of extra fatalism, Flight to Fury is Monte Hellman with a near-disposable piece of low-budget work that's somewhat made up for by some stirring action set-pieces and a chase that makes up the best part of the movie in the last ten minutes. Dewey Martin plays Joe, a man with a particular goal he's after, which is never really too specified despite some interesting, shady dealings early on (according the site here it's gold). Jay (Jack Nicholson) gets involved almost through a very smooth-operating sociopath scheme, as he kills Joe's one night stand and somehow gets involved in the expedition. On the plane, with some other nefarious characters including a Japanese fellow (Vic Diaz), the plane crashes, leaving a few dead and the rest on a trip to get help. But since they're in the Phillipenes, they get caught. Will they escape?
Hey, it's a B-movie after all. The premise isn't that great, but unfortunately Hellman doesn't get things truly in gear until the 2nd half (the scenes on the plane are actually really dull, maybe the point but dull nonetheless). Once the stakes get raised and the characters get more and more on edge- and casualties and bullets fly- then the fun of Hellman's dread-in-B-movie-land gets going stronger. Luckily he has Nicholson as co-star, who even in a less demanding role here gives the goods, as aside from the 'Japanese' guy on the crutches there isn't much in the way of even just decent acting (with the possible exception of that sexual assault scene on Destiny in the hut by the captor). And much of the motives and the dialog, also provided by Nicholson, seem underdeveloped and not good enough for just a 73 minute running time. Then again, it's good that material like this doesn't over-stay its welcome.
I also will probably want to check out just the last ten minutes some other time, as it makes for a very nifty chase scene, in the empty black & white photography, and has a few memorable shots of Nicholson holding a gun and his limp-shot arm. Not a total waste but nothing special, the kind of little movie that probably played a lot on midday TV back in the 70s.
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