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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Awful.

2/10
Author: layer8 from Ontario, Canada
2 October 2005

So let's see: The American Navy is testing a new missile, somehow manages to miss the fact that a passenger airliner is in the test airspace, missile hits plane. Explosive decompression somehow lasts TWO FREAKING MINUTES, and sucks many people out of the plane. It's powerful enough to rip a set of bolted chairs out of the floor and out of the plane .(It's about 15 minutes into the movie, and already you can tell the people making this movie have no clue about airplanes... or basic physics for that matter.) Captain dies from lack of oxygen and the co-pilot is in a coma for the same reason. (What?!) A "weekend pilot" takes over the controls and has to land the plane. Meanwhile, both the Navy and the airline's insurance company are independently scheming to secretly destroy the crippled plane, so they can hide their idiocy and save money, respectively.

Thanks to a "sympathetic" admiral, who for much of the movie stood by while orders to destroy the plane were given and almost followed, but then declared self-righteously that his report to the Pentagon would tell it "like it happened", we can assume that justice will be done.

Of course the heroic pilot manages to bring the plane in for a dramatic landing, everyone is happy, and thanks to evidence he gathered, the insurance guys will get their just deserts as well.

The plot is unbelievable to say the least. The actors are variously over-acting, under-acting, or acting dead. (The last group did the best job, I think.) The music screams: THIS IS THE EXCITING PART! THIS IS THE SAD PART! BE ANGRY! CRY! ON THE EDGE OF YOU SEAT, NOW! After a while you tune it out. The whole movie, I mean.

Save yourself two hours, and don't watch this piece of crap.

The only reason this is getting 2 out of 10 and not 1 is because I have seen a few movies that were worse... but very few.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

This movie should have been 10 minutes long

1/10
Author: tpickering from United States
2 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoiler alert.

An explosive decompression of an airliner traveling at supersonic speeds would have killed everyone on the plane instantly, and even if they had gotten their air masks on, they would have frozen to death before the plane got to a safe altitude. But all that is moot, because a plane traveling at supersonic speeds would have broken up when hit by a missile (warhead or no warhead) accelerating at "one mile a minute". It lost credibility in the first few minutes so I turned it off after that.

From the previews it appeared to devolve into some sort of military conspiracy where they wanted the plane to go down and everyone to die. Being in the military, I found that both fairly offensive and highly unlikely. People that write these things seem to forget that the military consists of your neighbors, spouses, sons, daughters, etc. They are not likely to be able, or willing, to cover something like this up.

Typical TV drivel... watch something else.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

"I swear to god this this script was written with crayons."

1/10
Author: DashTheGreat from United States
3 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, I guess we have to give this movie some form of credit. As far as TV movies go, they aren't exactly the pick of the litter. This movie, however, wasn't just bad: It was downright hilarious. The viewer is stupefied into a trance as the missile strikes the plane, somehow causing some to fall out, while others stay in. The African-American flight attendant is thrown down the stairs, rolls around in impossible places, and then finds his way to the top floor again. I could have sworn that I was watching some kind of Hollywood Ghost movie, but that is beside the point. The sheer fact that everybody dies from lack of oxygen, yet animals (such as the puppies) survived was not only ridiculous: It was just plain insulting. I also loved the part where the guy in the computer room somehow passed out for no reason- nothing was even there to kill him. People were randomly dying for no reason, and one of the dead women even lifted her head up and looked at the camera. The acting was ridiculously stupid, as the week-end pilot, teenager, and flight-attendant acted like they were on some sort of Disney World ride. "MayDay" shows no real knowledge of airplanes, or cabin pressure. People were being sucked in from across the plane, yet people right next to the crack weren't moving. The plot to kill the pilot was horrible, and the printing of the script just made it worse. Finally, the absolute worst part of this movie had to be when the firemen came out with the dogs. I love the fact that they were rescued, but the "nod" made me feel like this was a fire-safety system commercial. Better Luck Next Time (But Let's Hope Not).

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Sanitized disaster.

5/10
Author: fayremead from Sidney, Canada
3 October 2005

This film may have been less far-fetched than the Nelson DeMille/Thomas Block novel on which it is based, but it lacks the tension which the authors provided so well. Director T.J. Scott is obviously constrained by the network-television format, which allows little blood and no coarse language -- still, he should have let the main characters look increasingly unkempt and sweaty after the accident. Other mistakes include a subplot involving several characters who weren't in the book, and some weakly interpreted villains (Johnson suffers the most; where is his swagger and sardonic humor).

This rates a 5 because the cast members do their best, the effects are good for a TV-movie, and there are a few nice touches (at one point the film refers to a change of terminology between the 1978 and 1997 versions of the novel). It's sad, though, that "Mayday" never got a big-budget blockbuster treatment.

-Tony

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

This is an insult to the watcher's intelligence

2/10
Author: (darkside2003@tin.it) from Lake Como - Italy
24 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the most ludicrous movies i've ever seen. The plot has been probably written by a 12 year old, and there are so many evident absurdities that i wonder who it was that deemed reasonable to throw away money to produce this excrement. The acting is so poor that even my butcher could have done better. The fact that an amateur pilot can bring back from the middle of the ocean and then safely land in the middle of a storm at dusk a damaged jetliner, short on fuel and with all the instrument panels off..., well, draw your own conclusions Oh, i forgot - our hero, as said, is a weekend pilot, but somehow he gets tricked into switching off the fuel pumps: even an idiot with absolutely no knowledge of airplanes would guess that maybe closing the fuel pumps leads to an engine cut off, which isn't quite an advisable thing to do in the middle of a flight, let alone doing it on a damaged aircraft. Adding more insult, he manages to restart the engines and recover the plane from a free-fall leveling it off at 1000 feet just seconds before crashing into the ocean. This trash should rank in the bottom 250 of all time.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Fair To Weak Adaptation Of A Superior Novel

5/10
Author: Eric-62-2 from Morristown, NJ
3 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have been a fan of the novel "Mayday" since it first came out in 1978 which was when pilot Thomas Block had sole author's credit. It was a very effective, chilling take on the familiar "airplane disaster" type story that had become popular in the wake of the Airport movies. I also enjoyed the 1997 update which gave us a more dramatically effective ending. Because of that intimate familiarity with both versions of the novel, I really had low expectations for a two hour TV production, because (1) I knew that would not give us enough time to do the story justice and (2) we would be spared depiction of what is the novel's really most chilling aspect, the fact that the surviving passengers are turned into brain-dead zombies for all intents and purposes, and are as much an obstacle to the plane's ability to get back as the conspiracies of Commander Sloan and the Airline executive/Insurance company respectively.

So, coming in with low expectations, I came away for the most part not too bothered by the changes that were made. I was in fact grateful that the Navy comes off better in this telling of the tale than they do in the novel with Lieutenant Matos ultimately defying Commander Sloan, and Admiral Hennings deciding to blow the whistle on Sloan's actions (in the novel, Sloan manages to trick Matos into crashing his plane so he can be killed as a witness, and the guilt-ridden Admiral Hennings commits suicide. Sloan ultimately gets arrested when its revealed his office was tapped). Also, I was glad they cut out the implausibly stupid romance of John Berry and flight attendant Sharon Crandall that developed along the way.

On the down side, the film was stuck with the dated source material by having a cockpit crew of three which was normal back in the 70s but is no longer so today. Also, the ending was soft-pedaled completely, leaving out the brain damage effects consequences to the passengers, and implying that many of them will ultimately recover, and leaving out the improved ending of the 97 novel where airline exec Johnson boards the plane to try and remove the incriminating printout documents and has his confrontation with Berry. The subplot added of other passengers trapped in the Conference Room proved pointless, and the matter of Harold Stein still being alive at the end, rather than committing suicide earlier was a weak point too.

All in all, if you're a fan of the novel, you'll consider this a tepid "by-the-numbers" adaptation that failed to take advantage of how more chillingly effective the story could have been on the big screen. If you're not familiar with the novel at all, I won't blame you for finding the whole thing wildly implausible and silly and would recommend getting the novel, whether the 78 original or the 97 rewrite.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

That's all there is??

6/10
Author: mntodc from Washington DC
5 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, I have to admit - I became entranced in this movie switching to it after the missile had already hit the plane - I was confused as to the plot, but it held my interest until the end - couldn't wait to see "what happens next". Plus, the cast gave the movie its raison d'etre (reason to be).

Now, they land the plane, then walk toward the media to "become heroes" (stupid last line, very comparable to the last line of the sequel to Saturday Night Fever, "I feel like struttin!"). I thought, 'this has to be a mini series', since the airline responsibility and the military secret both had to be exposed...THIS is where I thought the movie would save itself. But NO..now I find out THAT WAS IT!

Now, I'm really upset with myself for watching it. what a let down.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Glad I taped it

3/10
Author: joseph-hagee from Wilmington, Delaware
28 October 2005

I taped this movie so I could watch it after I read the book.The book was far better.In the book,the passengers who survived turned into zombies though oxygen deprivation and their actions threatened the survivors.One flight attendant was killed by them.There was a scene in the book where Kelly's character took off her pantyhose to close the cockpit door so the passengers wouldn't get in.Sadly that wasn't in the movie either.Also,I know that this was a TV movie,and that the acting wasn't going to be the greatest,but at least hire actors who can act well enough to get you caught up in the story,I'm specifically referring to Aidan and Kelly,somebody else said they acted like they were on a Disney World ride,and I agree.I kept looking at the tape timer to see how long it would be until it was over.If it comes on again,just tape it and watch something else.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Hurry up and end this, we're running out of time!

4/10
Author: (tmills777@aol.com) from Santa Maria, California
3 October 2005

This is a film that has the mark of an effort which runs as if it is a mini-series but suddenly realizes that, "Hey, our two-hour allotment is almost up, better end this thing quick." The first half of the film runs well, and engrosses the viewer, but there are too many threads left dangling and not enough time to tie them up neatly. What happens to the insurance people who want the plane to crash so that they can wiggle out of liability? What happens on Wake Island? Will the report go in about the errant missile? And wasn't the missile still intact when it hit the plane? How will they explain that? Too many holes and a movie that needed to run three hours at the least.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I would rather look at the bricks on my wall.

1/10
Author: from United States
4 October 2005

Okay, so i was excited to see this movie since the ad on NBC was such a thriller. So, i cancelled my hocky practice and turned on the TV with a hot bowl of orville popcorn.

I was in absolute disbelief how scientifically inaccurate and plot-less this movie is. The only thing that kept me from pressing the remote is the thought of Kelly Hu Nude in the shower in the movie "scorpion." Oh, and what happened to the "not enough fuel?" as Aiden somehow magically pilots the plane back to san fransico.

Anyways, put it this way, T.J. Scott would have made about 10 millions dollars more if he simply had made Kelly Hu show more skin.

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