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
This film premiered in U.S. theaters on December 17, 2004, which marked cast member Giovanni Ribisi's 30th birthday. See more »
After the crash when Kelly is resting on the side of a sand dune and hears two shots behind her, it is still daytime. When the others take a look, it is nighttime as you can see some stars behind them in the sky and of course the darkness about them. They seemed to be eager to go, yet it couldn't have taken them that long to get up there. They had to wait until dark to watch with their binoculars. In sunlight, the glare off the lens of the binoculars would give their position away.
When Rodney gets shot it's still nighttime, yet when they bring him back to the plane afterward it's like midday. See more »
Let me tell you a story. A rabbi and a priest attend a boxing match. They watch as the boxers come into the ring. The rabbi sees one of the boxers cross himself. So the rabbi turns to the priest and asks, "What does that mean?" The priest says, "Not a damn thing if the man can't fight."
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Back in 1964, Robert Aldrich stranded James Stewart, Richard Attenborough and Peter Finch in the desert after their plane crashed in the film Flight of the Phoenix. The movie was about a group of unluckies that band together to rebuild a new plane from the working parts of the wreckage. The film was fairly well done for its time and even grabbed two Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Ian Bannen) and Best Film Editing.
But were we really lobbying for a remake? Was there a demand or a group of picket sign wielding stampeders outside the studio office demanding that an update be greenlit?
Who knows? What we do know is that some 40 years later, fairly untested director John Moore was given a hefty budget to remake the film appropriately named, Flight of the Phoenix. Surprisingly however is that the film was a remake in almost every sense. With the exception of the plane crash (to which I give credit as being one of the best ever filmed) the movie updates the language, but everything else is relatively the same. Where in the original, there was such laughable dialogue as 'Mr. Towns, you behave as if stupidity were a virtue.', in the remake we get equally giggle generating script excerpts as, 'I think a bee stung going in your big dumb ass.' Hmmmm. Updated indeed.
If a remake is suppose to be bigger, badder and louder, I suppose Flight of the Phoenix 2004 fits the bill. But you can also add stupider to the mix since the writers decided not to spend any time in developing characters outside of the 40 year old script (that is unless you consider the crew dancing in the face of death to Outkasts' Hey Ya in a ridiculous MTV moment). And that is very irritating.
We had four decades to fix the kinks and iron out the wrinkles to make a superior film of what is an interesting concept. Instead we get cliché after cliché and improbable situations that are laughable to today's audiences. What do I mean as laughable, you say? Well, how about an electrical storm that ends as soon as it hits the only thing that is important to the survivors. Or how about a group of nomads that can attack at any time, but wait until the exact second that the newly built plane decides to take off.. I can go on, but what's the point.
Flight of the Phoenix was a major disappointment to the holiday theatre going experience.
Change that. Flight of the Phoenix was a major annoyance during the holiday theatre going experience.
Where psychologists agree that hostages and their captors develop a bond over a period of time, it is evident in this circumstance that people in need of each other for survival will begin to fight over petty trivialities if not dancing to the latest pop hit on the radio. All this did was leave me to care nothing about any of the characters and I couldn't give a rats ass whether they survived or not.
Flight of the Phoenix therefore falls in the same category as Get Carter, Sabrina, The Jackal., as films that were just mediocre when released decades ago and are amazingly given more of a disservice in the remakes for the new MTV generation. We didn't ask for a Phoenix remake and frankly, my life is worse off because of it. And for that. I give it one and half stars, not even enough juice to get it off the tarmac.
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