A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
A group of air crash survivors are stranded in the Mongolian desert with no chance of rescue. Facing a brutal environment, dwindling resources, and an attack by desert smugglers, they realize their only hope is doing the impossible... building a new plane from the wreckage of the old one. Written by
The production transported three C-119 fuselages to Namibia where the film was shot. During transportation, a ferry carrying the fuselage and its trailer across a river sank and the parts had to be salvaged. See more »
When Elliot is first introduced, Towns is wearing his jacket. But the reverse shot, Towns is wearing a short-sleeved shirt and no jacket. See more »
[to Towns, about the makeshift plane]
The design is perfect, the only flaw is that we have to rely on you to fly it.
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A Nutshell Review: (DVD) Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
Before the TV series Lost made being stranded after a plane goes down hip, there was the Flight of the Phoenix. This is a modern remake of the 1965 original, and we follow a group of misfits who must play on one another's strength, and one man's ability to think out of the box, in order to make it out alive.
Dennis Quaid plays cocky pilot Frank Towns, who together with his co-pilot AJ (played by Tyrese Gibson), are tasked to fly a group of oil-riggers out of their just-closed outpost in the Gobi desert. Led by a lady called Kelly (Miranda Otto), this group of men seemed close to that ensemble lined up in Armageddon.
On a routine flight out of the desert, they encounter a humongous sandstorm, which Towns underestimates, and ended up with a broken plane in the middle of the desert. Well, you should know the rest, it's the usual distrust turned into camaraderie building opportunity, as the troupe gathers to build a new plane (hence called the Phoenix) by salvaging parts from the rubble. Sandstorms, electrical storms, and nasty nomads stand in their way, and it's kinda fun to see how our survivors overcome these challenges on their road to freedom.
Perhaps what appealed to me was how this film was shot. My eyes were constantly glued at how it made the desert so enchantingly sexy. The special effects too were great, from the sandstorm, to the usage of effects to bring out the whole "what-ifs" scenario. Slow motion techniques were used sparingly, but nonetheless effectively.
And I just got to raved about the music. You wouldn't think that Outkast's Hey Ya would make it to the film, but it did. But what takes the cake is the awesome use of Massive Attack's Angel during the entire scene when the group approaches a gang of nomads. Wow. I dig that song, and to witnessed it being used in that sequence, totally blows me away.
Don't expect too much from the plot, as it's as simple as it can be, with of course, some plot holes thrown in. Questions like food and water will ring throughout the movie, but I suppose one can gloss over the fine details and accept that they had enough to tide them through.
The Code 1 DVD contains deleted and extended scenes, and one almost 45 minute long making-of documentary titled the "Phoenix Diaries". It's one extremely detailed look at the making of the movie, without using too many footage from the final product.
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