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Air travel is the safest, the FAA says. But the FAA never figured the risk with Charles Rane on board. "The Rane of Terror" has masterminded four terrorist attacks. Soon there will be a fifth -- and that's bad news for the passengers on Flight 163. But there's good news too: the man in seat 57! Wesley Snipes plays John Cutter, an undercover security operative who enters the lavatory and exits to find Rane (Bruce Payne) and his gang have taken over. Cutter's next move is clear. Do. Or be done to. Written by
Robert Lynch <email@example.com>
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An incredibly brief, uninvolving and dumb thriller, Passenger 57 is a film that Wesley Snipes probably doesn't rank too highly on his CV. Though it is fast-paced and action-packed, it just doesn't give the audience the pay-off they need. The whole thing seems to have been made in great haste, with precious little attention to character, dialogue and plot. If Die Hard was the sumptuous five-course meal of action movies, then Passenger 57 is the half-eaten, under-cooked bacon sandwich.
The (somewhat unbelievable) plot has world-feared terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne) being transported by plane to jail. Someone in the corridors of power has rather foolishly allowed him to be transported aboard a regular passenger aircraft, full of normal, innocent members of society. Inevitably, Rane escapes with the help of some of his accomplices, and within minutes he has control of the plane and the life of every passenger aboard. He plans to trade the safety of the passengers for his freedom. The one thing he doesn't reckon on is the presence of Passenger 57, maverick sky marshal John Cutter (Wesley Snipes), who knows a trick or two when it comes to dishing out pain to the bad guys.
You know just from the plot synopsis that Passenger 57 is riddled with unlikely plot holes. But even if you forgive its silliness, it isn't very entertaining on the level of "dumb fun". Payne as the villain is as camp as Christmas; hero Snipes plays it with utter indifference; the plot rattles along with no rhyme or reason making it awfully hard to care about any of the protagonists; and the climax is such a rushed muddle of a sequence that it comes over more as an anticlimax than anything. It's easy to knock action movies, especially if you prefer something with a bit of depth and believability, but even champions of the "big, cheesy action flick" are likely to come away from Passenger 57 feeling disappointed.
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