I didn't exactly 'watch' this movie - it was more like rubbernecking. It got so bad in places that it took me precisely three attempts to watch it through to the end, but luckily British satellite movie channels obliged by constantly looping the film. I both like and dislike 'Angel Flight Down'. I'm a sucker for 'true stories', especially those about aviation rescue events. I just wish that the writers had applied dramatic licence in this case, and killed off David Charvet's character. And the young girl's annoying father. Both were highly irritating leading up to, during, and immediately following the mountainside emergency landing. Charvet's character was petulant, selfish, and dense. Charvet himself must have been banking too much on his 'Baywatch' pretty boy status to get him through, but his chubby cheeks and pouting lips merely aggravated his bad acting. The father was incredibly melodramatic and flouncy, especially during the slo-mo shots of the plane's interior during the crash.
The only character I warmed to was the female paramedic, Theresa, played by Patricia Kalember. She was believable, and reserved enough to keep the two 'boys' on the flight in check.
Up until the survivors started to work together to aid their rescue, there were some painful moments. Charvet's aero-paramedic being snotty with the girl's father about his religious beliefs, almost telling him to 'keep it to himself' at one point, when prayer couldn't exactly have hurt anyone at that point. I expected some drawn out 'Ted Striker of Airplane!' backstory about Charvet's character being let down by his once fervent faith in a higher being, with the way the paramedic kept sniping about religion.
The constant harassment of the delirious pilot was another. Kalember's character tells the others that Rick has potentially fatal head injuries. So what does Charvet's character do? Shake the poor guy around, yelling, 'Wake up! Wake up! Where's the EMT? Wake up!' Why they couldn't locate the EMT themselves, by process of elimination, is beyond me. How long had the two paramedics been working around aircraft? And when Rick managed to gather enough faculties together to tell them, 'It's in the back', Charvet's character had to be told twice more, with the qualifier 'The EMT is in the back', before anybody acted on the information!
The actual rescue effort, however, was heartwarming. As Kalember's character narrated, people hardly ever walk away from a mountain crash, and stories of miraculous survivals like the bare facts of 'Angel Flight Down' provided, always amaze and affect me. I've seen better air crash dramatisations, and I've run away screaming from worse. Charvet aside, this was actually a pretty fair representation of a real-life incident.
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