It's a clear day in L.A.; a jumbo jet needs to make an emergency landing. The radio traffic reporter gets word that the police have cleared a two-mile stretch of the 405 freeway from the 118 to Victory. A young man in an SUV seems to have the road to himself when he looks into his rear view mirror and sees the jet about to land on top of him. He floors it, complications befall him, and he and the jet are on a collision course with the Little Old Lady from Pasadena, driving slowly in her Lincoln. Miracles can happen, and the old woman gets the last word.Written by
The first short movie to be widely circulated online. See more »
In 73 second (01:13) of the movie airplane with own nose gear closed lies down on the vehicle. Weight of landing plane is 100 - 400 tonnes (according to the amount of fuel left). With this weight car would be simply smashed to the ground and destroyed. See more »
In the original internet distribution the aircraft was clearly an American Airlines DC-10. In later distribution the word "American" was replaced with the word "Airliner" on the fuselage and the AA logo on the tail was blanked out. See more »
One of the best short films I have ever seen.
405 is an extremely short action thriller that takes you on a wild adventure ride and then drops you off almost before you even realize that you've gone anywhere. The film is barely three minutes long, placing it on the level of extremely short short films, yet there is still so much accomplished in it that it is able to make a huge impression on the viewer even in that short time.
In glancing through the other reviews of 405 on the IMDb, it seems that a lot of people (or, at least, most of the six or seven people who bothered to review it) were impressed with the special effects but saw a problem with logistics in the film. Okay, it's obvious that if a DC-10 rear-ended a Jeep Grand Cherokee, it's landing gear is not going to crumple, nor would the Jeep have the slightest chance of holding up the plane if it did. No roll bar in the world is going to enable a Jeep to withstand the gigantic weight of a full size commercial airliner.
Also, to stoop to an even lower level of complaint, even the most decrepit of senior citizens is likely to notice that the guy who just flew by her and almost caused her to wreck was probably not doing it on purpose, seeing how there was a jetliner resting on top of his car. I doubt she assumed that he was towing it, so clearly the finger at the end of the film was thrown in for comic relief. Did they go too far with that? Was that too much lowbrow comedy to allow the movie to be taken seriously? Personally, I don't think that the amount or style of comedy put into the film was either excessive or cheesy. And even if it was, the movie is so good that it wouldn't even matter. This is a nearly perfect short action film, with the small exceptions of the very much forgivable logical flaws, and I think that it should be recognized for that.
Another thing that I noticed in the other reviews on the IMDb was that the acting was criticized, particularly that of the driver of the Jeep. Well, first of all, there was such a miniscule amount of actual acting in the film that it would have been pointless to hire a more professional or more well-known actor to play the part of the driver, and besides that, I really saw nothing wrong with his acting. His facial expressions and body movements (which collectively made up about 99% of his total amount of acting) perfectly showed his reactions to what he saw happening with the airliner, and the fact that he was just some guy rather than a more well known actor made it much more believable. This is just a regular guy driving down the freeway, and this amazing thing happens to him.
The reason Alfred Hitchcock's movies were and continue to be so successful (besides the tremendous directing skills of Hitchcock's himself) were because they were so often stories of amazing things happening in normal circumstances, and that's exactly what is happening in 405. We're not told what circumstances led up to the point where this guy is driving his Jeep along a closed freeway, wondering why there's not a single car on the road with him, but it doesn't matter because it's not significant to the story that we're watching. That's like asking what Norman Bates had for breakfast the day that Marion Crane showed up at his hotel.
I can't say I wasn't shocked to read that someone was impressed with the special effects in 405, but then called it a `bad movie.' What a thing to say! This movie is incredible! I think that the fact that Roger Ebert reviewed it says enough about its quality. Try to find another three minute movie that Ebert took the time to watch and review. I haven't done that myself, but I can't imagine that there are many.
This is a famous short film for a reason, and it should not be picked apart for such insignificant flaws as the ones I pointed out above. This is a movie that nearly anyone would enjoy, and it also provides a great lesson for people who are interested in the possibilities of the filmmaking medium (like myself). 405 is an extremely amateur film but the final product is amazingly impressive. Overlooking that just because the strength of a DC-10's landing gear was not parallel in the film with reality (or because you invented some problems with the acting in the film) would be a cinematic tragedy almost on the same level as it would have been if Kubrick had decided to throw that copy of The Shining against the wall with all the others. Enjoy 405, and give it the respect that it deserves.
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