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This was a lovely family film which explored the relationship between a pilot, Clay (Dean Cain) and a boy, Gabriel (Kristen de la Osa), and the boy's obsession with Clay's plane which he believes speaks to him. They both have to come to terms with their fears. Clay is forced to face up to the fact that he is running away from himself and that he has to reassess his life. Gabriel learns to face the fact that his mother is to marry again and that he will have a stepfather, whom he comes to accept by the end of the film. The empathy between Dean Cain and Kristen de la Osa was the cornerstone of the story. They say never act with children but Dean was totally at ease with Kristen. Both turned in outstanding performances. The Puerto Rican scenery was another bonus, to this film which is suitable for all ages. Do not miss it, it is a must for all Dean Cain fans. The only downside of this film, to me, was the fact that we have wait quarter of an hour before Dean Cain appears but his appearance with worth waiting for.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On the plus side of this movie, there's the classic beauty of Talisa
Soto. On the minus side, there's a sentient biplane, a guy who looks
like Hobo Yahweh, three annoying kids who all need a good smack, Dean
Cain as a heartthrob deadbeat dad, Miguel Sandoval as a narrative
well, pretty much everything else. Even an all topless
musical number with Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Marilyn Monroe
wouldn't be enough to salvage this production.
The story opens on some indeterminate Caribbean island with the wedding day of Mercedes and Frank (Talisa Soto and Miguel Sandoval). Mercedes' bratty son Gabriel (Kristian de la Osa) ruins the nuptials by taking an out of control truck ride with his two doofus friends (Juan Piedrahita and Carmen Moreno). Then a pilot (Dean Cain) is forced to set his biplane down on Frank's plantain fields. The pilot and Mercedes make goo goo eyes at each other while Gabriel befriends the plane, which communicates with him by moving its rudder, flaps and propeller.
Instead of calling someone for help, or at least trying to contact the nearest airfield, the pilot hangs around for a few days to fix Frank's truck and then crashes when he tries to fly away. After he recovers, the pilot acts like a dick to both Mercedes and Gabriel, pushing them back into the arms of Frank. THEN the story decides to make the pilot a nice guy again so he and Gabriel can rebuild his plane into one of the most aeronautically unsafe things I've ever seen and the pilot can leave. There's also this magical hobo guy, but I really don't want to get into that.
Facing Fear is a well meaning, family friendly film, so it's hard to get too disgusted with it. This is a miserable piece of work, though. The goofy, cheesy, too-cute-by-half stuff is bad enough but it's also written so poorly. For example, Gabriel is the main character in this movie, but he's introduced to the audience as a whiny little twerp whose resentment drives Mercedes and Frank apart. That doesn't really make the viewer want to root for the kid. Then the script craps all over Frank some more by shoving Mercedes and the pilot into an infatuation, which wouldn't be a problem if Frank were cast as something of a bad guy but he's not. Frank is played as a perfectly decent fellow who, Job-like, has his life turned upside down. He's the most sympathetic person in the whole movie and that's never acknowledged by the script or the direction.
The Puerto Rican scenery and Soto look nice. Nothing else about this motion picture makes it up to average. I mean, consider the tag line on Facing Fear. You know, there's the title and then there will be a little phrase or sentence that supposed to catch your attention and tell you what the movie is all about. Well, the tag line here is "Defy your spirit". Not only does that have nothing to do with the story, it doesn't even make sense. "Defy your spirit"? How would you do that? Why would you need to? It's like three nearly random words stuck together because some producer thought they sounded cool.
Avoid this thing.
I watched this film with my children and they enjoyed it immensely. It
captures what a child's imagination would look like if it were "real".
Some enjoyable acting by Dean Cain, Talisa Soto, and Miguel Sandoval.
This is a film for the whole family.
Is Talisa Soto beautiful or what?
I would watch this movie just to see her, even though it is a family film. Besides starring Talisa, the film is actually great.
I bet that it will FLY YOU TO THE MOON like a Frank Sinatra ballad.
It's even the winner of the prestigious Hollywood Film Festival award for "BEST FAMILY FILM." Flight of Fancy fulfills the dreams and imagination of the viewer like a jaunt through Alice's Wonderland. Heartfelt and warm, this film will have you wishing for more, and loving every minute of its splendid story. Great acting, too.
In a word: OUTSTANDING!
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