Sunday, June 23, 2013

REVIEW: The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting (2003)

If there was anything the world needed, it was a direct to video sequel to The Hitcher, made almost 20 years later. Oh, wait, it’s not opposite day. My bad…

Director: Louis Morneau
Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Jake Busey, Kari Wuhrer

So we start off with something totally different from the original film: a rainy setting where a car picks up a hitchhiker! Oh wait, it’s still not opposite day…man I’m bad at this. To be fair, the situation IS pretty different. It’s actually revealed to be a kidnapped child, and the guy driving is his kidnapper. The kidnapper gets shot by C. Thomas Howell, who I am surprised actually returned for this. Take a guess if Rutger Hauer came back or not…

So yeah, Howell’s character Jim Halsey is now a cop all these years later. Funny, considering the last interaction he had with the police in the first movie was when he held one of them up at gunpoint and stole his car. You would think that would sorta bar one from entering into the police academy and becoming an officer of the law. Isn’t it kind of like a church burning black metal musician becoming a Lutheran minister?

Oh, maybe he DIDN'T fall too far from the tree after all...

Either way, Jim kills the kidnapper and then flies away in his plane to go see his girlfriend Maggie. Yeah, he has a private plane, a little Wright Bros-esque number that I’m surprised the police department just lets him fly around to catch criminals in. He actually tells Maggie that yes, he did find that child kidnapper by flying around in the plane, so I’m not making that part up. This whole thing has a very carnivalesque superhero feel to it now. Like Jim Halsey is Robin Hood or something…only he can afford a private plane.

Yes, I'm so sure we have a reason to be afraid of this ominous tracking shot...I'm sure it's NOT AT ALL a red herring...

Yeah, this plot point isn’t going to be very important to the film, so I can just skip it I guess. Maggie makes a huge deal about Jim killing that kidnapper, and I really don’t get why. I mean yeah, he killed someone; it sucks by default. But at the same time…he killed a CHILD KIDNAPPER. Possibly a molester and a sex offender, too; let’s just assume. Why is this such a big deal? Maggie’s words are “You can’t just go around shooting people all the time!” I’m sorry, but how is killing ONE man who KIDNAPPED A CHILD the same thing as “going around shooting people all the time”? Yes, Jim. Listen to your girlfriend. Please stop killing horrible murderers and child molesters. That’s just so rude of you.

I love how they're sexualizing her after she's been working underneath a plane and probably smells like a BP oil spill right now...

After some dubiously silly and unbelievable acting, Jim decides that they need to go back to that desert road where the first movie took place to talk to his friend Sheriff Esteridge, now retired. Esteridge tells him over the phone that maybe it’s time to come back and revisit the past, and face his fear…I’m sorry, WHY?! What’s the gain? To talk to his old buddy about killing that kidnapper? I just…don’t think that reason is strong enough to justify an entire movie!

But, sigh, they do end up going, and of course it takes them all of five minutes to find a hitchhiker, which Maggie insists that they pick up, because a sandstorm is coming. I just love this character’s sympathies: she’s all for the child molesters and the hitchhikers! Truly America’s most under-represented, oppressed minorities! Jim is suspicious and has numerous flashbacks to the first movie again. Which honestly begs the question, why. Why are you watching this? Why not just go watch the first one again? The flashbacks make it painfully obvious even this early in that the original will be the better film when this one is over. So why? Just turn this off now, pop in the 1986 classic The Hitcher and you’ll be much better off for your time.

So, yeah, the hitchhiker guy is played by Jake Busey, because yeah, when I think of classic horror villains, I think of Jake Busey right next to Rutger Hauer from the original. Sure. Keep on living in your fantasy land, movie. Busey doesn’t seem threatening or creepy like Hauer did in the original, so it’s more ambiguous for a few minutes. Halsey screams a lot and acts like a jackass, and kicks Busey’s character out of the car anyway, prompting Maggie to get all self-righteous again. Why do I get the idea this is the kind of relationship where she picks out his shirts and socks every morning?

Of course Jake Busey IS the new killer in this film, which is revealed a few moments later. And honestly, the problems with this compared to the original are so boldly underlined, it’s practically able to be seen from space. The original movie worked because it was all so spontaneous and random. Jim was stranded out in the desert with this guy he just met trying to kill him. He was just passing through, just driving his rental car across the country. In THIS, Jim actively seeks out the desert road again, and so the spontaneity is lost. If a character knows where he’s going, and intentionally goes, the fear and the surprise just aren’t as great. In a better movie, maybe this could have worked – maybe if Jim was trying to hunt down the Hitcher again all these years later and kill him, after hearing of some similar murders in the same area. But the way it’s done here just feels contrived and forced.

"If I show my teeth and look constipated enough, maybe people will be engaged by my character!"

They are forcing this plot to happen. How do we get Jim back in the desert years later after he naturally would move far away? Well, it’s simple, just invent a flimsy excuse and have him go back! Nothing just comes naturally the way a good plot does – these are manufactured, doctored thrills forced into being by C-rate writing just to get to the end of the goddamn script.

Case in point: you remember how the original was relatively fast-paced and ambiguous as to what the Hitcher was doing? How he kept to the shadows and only appeared in short bursts here and there to incite violence? How his framing Jim for murder was understated and didn’t seem too obvious? Well, that’s all out the window here. One of the first things Jim points out to Maggie is that the Hitcher always tried to frame him for crimes. Well, here that plot point is hammered in until you just don't care. It's totally without subtlety. Busey’s Hitcher makes a wimpy phone call to police misleading them about Jim and Maggie. He tells the police that Jim and Maggie are going to kill Esteridge as opposed to just going to talk to him. When Jim and Maggie get there, of course Busey has somehow magically just killed them, in really vague and boring ways…certainly not the masterful suspense set up in the first one when Jim came across the abandoned family station wagon after Hauer was done with it.

The first movie's killer killed people and was enigmatic and fearless. This guy is the equivalent of a phone-pranking douchebag with too much time on his hands. Great killer, movie; great killer.

I’m sorry – I know I’m just bitching about how much lamer this is as compared to the first one. But it’s just no comparison. This movie is simply a dumber, less interesting version of the first one. Nothing feels subtle or mysterious anymore. Everything is boldly defined and spelled out like the audience is dumb. Oh, is Busey trying to frame Maggie for his own killings? Please, movie, hammer that fact in until the whole plot just seems completely neutered and bland.

I guess if I’m going to continue actually summarizing any of this, Jim gets killed off by Busey from a couple of gunshots and dies in the desert. Maggie is the main character now and she walks around for a bit and then gets knocked out by Busey, who puts her in some kind of old water tower that’s about to fall down. He points out – he actually says it – that the water tower is about to fall. So, how exactly the hell did he carry a grown woman up it and put her in without it collapsing? I just love when a movie verbally states its own plot holes.

Maybe he can fly now. It honestly wouldn't surprise me. They've already surpassed the original in implausible scenarios and ridiculous kills...might as well just throw all realism to the wind.

She gets out of that with very, very little suspense, and while the desert settings are all very nice, I’m just so bored. There’s no danger in this! Where is the sense for the epic? Where is the fast paced adventure and high speed explosiveness? Even when the movie does speed up and try its hand at that, it comes off as a cheap imitation, sluggish and sort of drunk. Like if the first Hitcher got washed up and fat. Maggie isn’t interesting at all, far away from the fiery performance C. Thomas Howell gave in the first one, and Busey is just a joke, coming off more like a college frat boy playing pranks than a menacing, unpredictable killer.

There’s one scene where he pops up from behind a diner counter like a Jack in the Box, and then cuts his own finger off and throws it in a pot of boiling water nearby. Is this a Freddy Krueger movie now? It’s just completely retarded!

Eh, still better than The Dream Child.

The cops arrest Maggie for all of that shit and the Sheriff actually talks reason, and gives us another big glowing neon sign as to why this sequel doesn’t work and the original DID work: Maggie has family and friends, and a job. People back home can verify that she is who she says she is, and that she has no reason to do any of the crimes Busey is framing her for.

In the original, Jim Halsey was a shifty, slightly rebellious loner whose only familial contact couldn’t BE reached and had no ID or anything because the Hitcher stole them from him. There was fairly reasonable suspicion as to his innocence, and the way Hauer's killer character played things, you could see why Halsey would be under scrutiny. And as it was 1986, the communication fields were shaky enough as it was – there wasn’t a lot of ways to go check up on any of his stories. This is 2003. There are ways to PROVE beyond a doubt that this woman would have NO reason or cause to commit such crimes. Hell, pick up a phone and make a call, you morons! I'm fairly sure her identification wasn't stolen at any point either, which makes this extra stupid. If these cops used their brains, they would see that the woman in front of them is really not very suspicious at all, and couldn’t do anything she’s being accused of.

But I guess dumbass small-town cops need a reason to exist, and so they just ignore all logic and say, yeah, some crazy guy with no background and no alibi for anything is accusing a well-to-do woman from a civilized place of gruesome, insane crimes? Must be legit! No reason to actually think and investigate at all, is there? That stuff’s for nerds!

"We don't really like using our brains in police work out here. It's just not the true way of the desert cop. We just hate actually thinking about motive and plausibility, and instead just arrest the first person we find without asking questions. Truly we are the greatest cops ever."

The Sheriff does believe her though. Which could have proved for some drama, if Busey didn’t kill him two minutes later, in a very unspectacular manner. What ensues is…

Okay, I guess this COULD have been cool...but here it's just dull and ridiculous, frankly, and I'm not sure how they managed to make a plane chasing a truck evoke that reaction.

…proof that the movie just doesn’t give a shit. In their attempt to one-up the crazy chase scenes from the original, we get a really boring and implausible scene where Maggie steals a small plane and chases after Busey, who is in a truck. I guess it’s not the worst ever, but come on. It’s stupid.

We do get one kind of cool scene when Maggie knocks him out and then ties him between two trucks, like Rutger Hauer did to that girl in the first one. It’s…a bit silly, yeah, when you consider that neither of these characters had anything to do with that film, but it does create some atmosphere and is the only part of this whole mess where I got any tension or anger between these two.

But of course the stupid police show up, and even though Busey has killed several of their own now, they still go for Maggie and fire at her, thinking Busey is innocent. I love how he puts on the innocent act when the cops arrive, saying that Maggie attacked him for no reason and what not. It’s practically closer to an 80s Ferris Bueller-esque comedy than a horror film. What a joke.

Cue the "wah wah" noise.

So that’s The Hitcher II. What a bland pile of blandy blandness. I guess some parts are alright, but really, that’s only because they ride the success of the original so hard. Most of this is just pointless, as it copies the original note for note and isn’t near as good. It’s a dumb, vapid flick that won’t leave an impression on you when it’s done, except for minor annoyance at how hard it failed to replicate anything that was good about the original – in fact, a lot of the time it’s like they were actually trying to do the opposite of what the original did. I guess it IS opposite day.

But this is only a minor offense…a pedestrian annoyance.

Beyond this petty misdemeanor of a film lies a much greater evil; a primordial and demonic entity that mortal men tremble before…THE REMAKE!

Run for your lives!

Images copyright of their original owners, I do not own any of them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

REVIEW: Red Dragon (2002)

So here goes my review for Red Dragon, the remake of the classic Hannibal Lecter thriller Manhunter. This is a silly, often soft-headed flick that likes to think it’s “upgrading” the classic film by making everything less subtle and having a bad guy that likes to flex his pecs naked like a drunk Dragonball Z character. Sound terrible yet? It is. Let’s give it a look.

Director: Brett Rattner
Starring: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins

…hmmm…well, this is an awkward predicament. Red Dragon…wasn’t too bad. In fact it was actually pretty frigging good. Just like the original Manhunter. It wasn’t, yknow, anything amazing, and it had a few problems, but for a detective thriller, it’s one of the better ones you’re liable to get out of the mainstream examples of the genre. So overall I don’t have any major problems with it.

Well, this is turning into a boring review. What am I supposed to do now? Just talk about how good everything is, and make a few “ehhhh” comments about the plot holes and silly moments here and there? There aren’t even that many problems! It’s gonna be one of my shortest and least impressive reviews if I keep on like this! Isn’t there some other film I could review that has some slight similarity to Red Dragon, so as to keep a little bit of continuity?

Well…Ray Fiennes in Red Dragon had a weird tattoo on his back.

That must mean it’s time to take a look at The Tattooist!

Director: Peter Burger
Starring: Matthew Grainger, Jonathan King

A supernatural horror movie about Samoan tattooing culture could potentially be interesting. I think the makers of this movie took that as a challenge to make the most boring thing possible.

So we start off with some kid who carved a pentagram into his arm getting the tattoo cut off by his super-religious Jesus freak father. It’s pretty cliché and boring and actually has about zero actual relevance to the film. Why did I even mention it? Because the film will, twice, so I figure I might as well not skimp on representing the film in the most realistic way possible.

Then we get the title of the movie over the main character’s ass: truly the greatest way to represent your movie.

Apparently this is Jake, a tattoo artist who says he knows ancient voodoo powers that can help heal the sick, or some shit like that. He gets hired by this rich guy who lives in the mansion from Eyes Wide Shut, and even advises the guy to take his sick son to a doctor. But the rich guy says nope! His son needs a tattoo and that will heal his ailing health! So Jake the greatest person who ever lived chooses to NOT call a doctor and leave immediately, and instead just go along with crazy rich guy’s crazy schemes.

Damn modern hippie medicine techniques...

Then later on we see that same rich guy angry that his son died after the tattoo – shock and awe – didn’t end up working. Gee, when even the GUY GIVING YOUR SON THE TATTOO recommended a doctor over the tattoo, you would think that would be enough proof to go to a goddamn doctor!

"I'm mad at you for my own deficient parenting!"

Just add this guy to the Poltergeist/Ring club of horrible horror movie parents, I guess…

Anyway, so Jake gets pushed down by crazy rich guy and cuts his hand on this tattoo instrument thing. Apparently, if you don’t mind me spoiling anything, this means that his tattoos can now kill people. How? This fantastical leap in logic is just so brilliant and well thought out…that it completely escapes me. The mark of any good horror movie, truly.

So he decides he wants to return that tattoo object to the person he stole it from, who lives in New Zealand. I’ve heard of worse excuses to start a horror movie…oh wait no I haven’t. So he goes to New Zealand and I’ll admit I don’t know much about that country. But I really have to say, any country that has a sign like this welcoming people in is cool in my books:

After that, I guess Jake goes and sees an old friend who greets him by insulting him and saying he’s wronged him. They have a weird friendship. Jake does some tattoos for people in New Zealand and gets invited to a party. Then he goes and talks to a rejected member of Bebe’s Kids about how there’s some kind of shadowy figure following him that he can’t see, but is nevertheless there. Amazing. Then we get some other stuff about how Jake isn’t welcome there because he doesn’t understand Samoan culture.

…which is, to be fair, totally understandable. Jake is an asshole! He steals from other tattoo artists and pretends that his tattoos can do things they can’t. He’s a scam artist. In the real world, this guy would be shunned even by the tattoo community in his own country, let alone the sacral practices of an ancient culture!

I just love how no attention is given to the Samoan culture in this movie aside from the tattoo stuff, and even then only to push its BS ghost story. It would be a more interesting movie if we actually had some good characters and writing that accentuated what was so interesting about the culture. But no, we just get a shitty ghost movie with a very light veneer of "culture" spread over it. What a load.

So yeah this is all really dull so far, if you couldn’t guess…why else would I be analyzing the politics of tattoo culture? He goes and meets his friend Sina, who is as generic a horror leading lady as you can get. She’s kind, patient and understanding and will have sex with Jake in about fifteen to twenty minutes. Oops, did I spoil that too? Damn.

They go see some guy who doesn’t like Jake for no reason. Jake decides to give the best first impression ever by poking around the guy’s house uninvited and disturbing his wife in her bedroom. Isn’t he just a class act? The final straw is when he knocks over a bunch of stuff and the guy kicks him out. Sina rewards this stupidity and incompetence by inviting him to come to her uncle’s party, because yeah that would sure really happen…ugh.

There we get some more nonsense about how everyone hates Jake. Yes, we the audience share your sentiments entirely.

Later on there’s a pool party, where some kid gets shoved into a pool and then it kills him for no reason, filling up the pool with bloody ink!

What happens when newspaper comic strip characters piss in the pool...

I just love how the reaction to all this is so normal. Nobody even really freaks out over it. They’re sad that he’s dead I guess, but at no point do we ever get any shock and awe at the bizarreness of people turning into ink. Isn’t that something? I guess these New Zealand tattoo cult people are just desensitized.

Then Jake meets up with Sina at her place where she examines all his tattoos. We find out that Jake was actually the kid in the opening sequence, whose father cut off his pentagram tattoo. So that traumatic experience actually made him want to go into tattoo stuff more? Uh, okay movie, whatever you say. It’s your stupid, illogical world after all.

After that, we finally get something happening as the two of them have sex. I'd post a picture of it if anyone cared, but hey, at least it's still better than endless monologues about how the Samoan culture doesn't like outsiders, which is all that's been happening so far otherwise.

While that’s going on, we see another woman waking up and finding out that her husband has turned into ink splotches and stuff – AND MESSED UP THE CARPET! DAMN HIM!

The next morning Jake returns home to find the angry sister of the kid who died in the pool. She’s mad because the tattoo killed her brother. Again I say – why is she not more surprised by all this? Are their superstitions really that deeply ingrained? I get that she’s distressed and angry. But why is she so nonchalant about the fact that her brother turned into a splatter of ink in the pool? Shouldn’t that be a concern?

Oh well, the movie has no time for that! It only has time for scenes like THIS!

…I don’t think I’m drunk enough for this movie.

Jake goes back to his place and finds angry sister girl in the shower and melting into ink, too. I think the makers of this movie got high while watching the ending of Wizard of Oz too many times. We then get the worst episode of ER ever:

That light is going to blind me if I stare at it too long.

Of course she dies and then Jake has to go save Sina, because he gave her a tattoo as well. She freaks out upon hearing the news and goes back to her father, whose advice is for her to go to church. The funniest thing about this is, it works. As soon as Jake takes her out of the church, she starts getting way worse and vomiting up blood and all kinds of shit, like instantaneously – it starts happening right after she leaves the building. So really, what this movie is saying is that God exists and can protect people from tattoo demons, as well as every other voodoo-level superstition out there, if they go to church. And hey, in fact all superstitions are actually real. Really!

There’s some kind of bullcrap story about some kid who didn’t get his tattoo finished and ran away, and apparently that makes him a ghost who can kill people now because some idiot cut his hand on a tool. How does this make any sense? Jake goes to see that little Bebe’s Kid reject from before and the kid can apparently – get this – channel the spirit of the dead guy, but only when loud rap music is playing and the car is driving over the speed limit.

This is where I draw the line, movie! This is where I stop believing anything you throw at me!

…or some shit, I don’t know, and I don’t care either. They figure out that it was Sina’s dear old dad who committed the crimes and killed the kid who is now a ghost and haunting everyone. So after the most racist thing I’ve ever seen in a horror movie…

…the dead kid’s dad comes back and makes Sina’s father cut his own tattoo off to shame him or something. I guess having him arrested for murder is a stupid idea. Sina and Jake are okay, and because of all this she decides to go back to America with him and everything. There’s an annoying taxi driver bugging them to stop talking about stuff and get in the car because he has many more customers waiting. And I’m not even kidding: this is how the movie ends. With an annoying taxi driver bothering the main characters to get in the car and leave. How is that even a real ending?

You can practically smell the stench of no inspiration seeping out of every pore of this movie’s infected tattoo areas. It’s a bad modern flick with all the clichés the genre is known and loathed for. It’s not as bad as The Grudge or anything, but it’s sure trying. Pointless, slow and boring, with more time spent on the Samoan tribal culture than on an interesting story or scares. The whole Samoan tattoo thing could be interesting, but instead it’s never used to any kind of quality end. So what is there to be gained here? Tattoos are evil, but only if you cut your hand on an ancient tool for making them. Then the only way to find out how to stop the evil is by playing loud rap music and going to church.

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Images copyright of their original owners, I do not own any of them.

Friday, June 7, 2013

REVIEW: Airborne (2012)

So I just got done with a long series of plane rides while moving to a new place to start a new job…and because my life has involved so many airplanes lately, I figured why not review something airplane themed? A movie that focuses on a plane as its setting and contains some truly out-there and strange ideas as to what exactly happens on a plane. Could I review Snakes on a Plane? Maybe Red Eye with Cillian Murphy? Or perhaps I could tackle the greatest airplane movie ever, Airplane! The possibilities are ripe and rich.

…nah, I’ll just do Airborne.

Director: Dominic Burns
Starring: Mark Hamill, Craig Conway

For those of you who have never heard of this movie, there are reasons why. Very distinct reasons why. It’s a half-baked airplane thriller with a plot that just seems like they made it up on the go. Are you ready to board this flight to the void of inane plot devices and ludicrous twists? I sure am.

We start off with some monologue by a guy who I can only describe as ‘not Sam Elliot,’ because yeah…this movie really hurts itself by having an opening that reminds me more of a guy talking to a bunch of mentally handicapped kids than an actual stirring introduction to a film. Who does this guy think he is?

I have no idea who Julian Glover is though. AND BECAUSE OF THAT THIS MOVIE SUCKS! 0/10!

Wait, what? Mark Hamill is in this? And he’s giving a speech about how sometimes bad things happen to good people? If it was better done…maybe, but either way the narration is dull and tired. This is really the same guy who gave us that chilling Joker voice? I also find it hilarious how he’s giving this whole speech about “bad things happening to good people” while the movie is showing us scenes of people being rude at the airport because of changes on their flight. Gee, movie. Why don’t you show us scenes of rich white girls not getting two iPADs instead of just one for Christmas next?

There are a bunch of different characters introduced, among them this dude, who starts off his flirtations with a pretty girl by talking about how his daughter died. Way to be totally depressing and morose, guy!

Oh I guess he makes more sense later when we find out his daughter died in the Middle East. But still, the character is so underdeveloped that it hardly matters!

There’s also some mob boss thug guy who basically just throws a fit over the fact that he can’t fly first class because of some nonsensical reason. I’m about as intimidated as I was when I saw Macaulay Culkin in the remake of The Godfather.

Oh okay...there's a chance I just made this picture myself. I know, it looks so real.

On the plane, we get introduced to Italian Meat Loaf, who talks about all kinds of banal crap you wouldn’t want to hear from a guy next to you on a plane. I will give the movie credit for realistically simulating an annoying in-flight experience, as it really does capture the essence of that level of irritation.

Italian Meat Loaf action figure now comes with extra mullet power AND extra annoyance!

What I will NOT give the movie credit for is half-assed sex scene attempting to turn the movie into a porno for a minute or two:

I shouldn't be so mean. The director was probably conceived in an airplane bathroom, so maybe this is more true-life than I give it credit. Maybe it isn't all THAT far fetched...

Seriously, guys, are you even trying? This is about as erotic as watching a bunch of hairy old men playing crochet. Maybe if this was a better movie, and focused on these two characters more, it MIGHT work, but when it’s just a cheap excuse to show T&A? It just feels weak as hell. And, what, it’s followed up with more airplane bickering? Yeah, movie…real sexy there. I don’t even think people who watch these movies for the porn would find this very enjoyable. Even the lowest common denominator of T&A-loving cretins would think this is weak.

Then everybody notices that Mr. Turner, that Meat Loaf guy, went missing somehow on the plane. We get some semi-suspenseful moments as the passengers all look around the plane and the flight crew, especially this one lady and this Middle Eastern looking guy, act kind of shady. These are probably the best moments in the film, and for a while I thought this thing wasn’t gonna be too bad after all. Unfortunately the rest of the movie is here to prove THAT hypothesis wrong…

I'm just so full of suspense about whether or not we'll make it to 2013.

We switch to retarded Mulder and Scully here talking about how the world is going to end in 2012. Oh no, is the world going to end in 2012? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh….

Oh, wait, no.

So yeah, these two geniuses put a strange illegal cargo box on the plane our main characters are on. Why? Well, if you want the answer to that, just give up on that hope and dream right now. Because you’re not gonna get an answer. At all.

On the plane, this one guy goes crazy because of Mr. Turner’s absence. It’s confusing because that character really only had the one scene – hell, I had trouble remembering who he was. He was on screen for like two minutes at best; maybe not even that. I give the movie credit for making it pretty seamless when a character disappears, but at the same time, so few of these characters really have much of an impact to begin with. Who really gives a crap if the couple having sex in the airplane bathroom disappears? They’re next, by the way.

Anyway, I digress; that one guy goes crazy and so they punch his lights out and tie him to a seat. For some reason he isn’t that concerned about it. I could make a bondage joke here, but that would be tasteless. After that, we get that guy’s life story as he tells the nicest stewardess in the universe how his fiancée left him and now he’s just going to go drink for a while. Can you believe he actually says the line “I have a new lover. His name is Jack Daniels”? Isn’t that just the most asinine and clichéd line ever uttered in a movie, anywhere, this side of Batman and Robin? Yes, yes it is. Moving on.

"I have now become a walking cliche."

On the ground, we see that no time has been wasted with rational thought and tough planning. Instead they’re just gonna bomb the plane right out of the sky. That’s right: the only two options they have are:

1) Let the plane continue on, with possible terrorists on it,
2) Bomb it out of the sky no matter where it is.

I never knew the British military was so gung-ho! There has to be a Doctor Who episode to explain this phenomenon!

On the plane we see the passengers recite all the usual garbage we get in these movies, which boils down to this:

“You can’t trust him!”

“No, you can’t trust him!

Yawn. Can we move on to a haphazardly explained, poorly thought out and illogical reason for the people to have disappeared?

That’s right, apparently the military guy goes down to the bottom of the plane and finds a bunch of dead bodies stored in the cargo hold or something. Then we get some stupid flashbacks with the killers – the white airplane stewardess lady and one of the rich guy’s thugs – violently murdering everyone who even turned a corner and saw them talking in private! Oh no! They…have stuff they don’t want other people to hear? I don’t quite get it, movie. Killing them all IS kind of an extreme conclusion to reach…

Haha, what the hell is this? Friday the 13th or some shit? I get that she's a thief, but does that automatically make her a psycho murderer too? Why are these kills so bloody and gory? By all reason they should be sloppy and wracked with guilt.

Oh, and for some reason, they’re in love now. Yeah. Because that adds SO MUCH to the story, right?

I really think they just had a bunch of ideas for short films and just mashed them all up together in this one - I mean c'mon, the airplane heist, the savage slasher kills, the supernatural crap that's about to happen, AND this hackneyed romance?

The whole reason they’re doing this is because they wanted to steal that vase in the cargo hold, which some old guy on the plane knows all about. Doesn’t this seem like kind of an elaborate scheme for a robbery? Why not just wait till the plane was on the ground, and nab it then? Or hire somebody to impersonate a worker and grab it before the plane leaves? How did they know it would specifically be on THAT plane, and not on one with people more capable of handling a situation like this, or who are just plain smarter? I guess the proper answer to all of these questions is that the writer was probably smoking too much weed while writing the script. Probably right out of that vase they seem to like so much.

We never see the vase, but I bet this is what it looks like.

I love how they just kidnap everyone else on the plane in the end and tie them all up. Why bother? You killed half the rest of the people on the goddamn plane. Was it really worth it to kill all of those people to keep your secrets when, apparently, the plan was to kidnap them anyway and tie them up? What other conclusion did you see happening, you numbskulls? That they would joyfully go along with being hijacked and help out for free?

Can't they just snap those thin ropes anyway? How tight can they be?

So that’s enough stupid for one movie, right? Nope! After that we see that the vase is actually magical this whole time, and starts making everyone all zombie-like until they kill themselves or someone else. Apparently the pilots have been dead this whole time, too, and the plane was just on “autopilot”…sure. The next fifteen minutes isn’t horrible I guess, unless you actually think about it. Then it just seems hilariously inept that it was shoved into the last quarter of the movie without any real build up.

After one guy heroically dive-bombs the plane into the water, “killing” the evil possessing vase thing, the big bad secret government group arrests everyone in the control room because of what they saw. And then we get another monologue about how bad things happen to good people. And then Mark Hamill shows his true nature…

"I'll get you next time, Batman!"

Aghhhhh! He’s become the Joker again! Run for your lives!

Eh, this movie was just ridiculous, really. The plot was about as coherent as the drunken memories of your first college party, the characters were mostly bland and the whole thing had a giant helping of stupid layered over top. And, you know? I really don’t think it’s all bad. Yeah, it’s got its problems. I can’t deny that a lot of it is very poorly done. But the thing with these kinds of low budget movies is that they probably didn’t have the greatest resources at their disposal when it came to writing and what not. But they tried anyway. They had ideas and they tried their damndest to make this an effective thriller. And that is worth more than a thousand Evil Dead remakes or new Star Trek films to me. It’s the beauty of filmmaking and hard work and passion. I had fun making fun of this, yeah, but it’s the kind of DIY, low budget stuff I watched in my teen years, and a lot of these movies probably had people working really hard on them. So for that I can’t fault Airborne, and it probably balances out the crap the movie has in it too.

But the real lesson we learned from this movie is, don’t go on airplanes. You might get kidnapped and then have an ancient mystical god make you kill yourself. Some people don’t get any luck.

Images copyright of evil supernatural airplane vases.