CORPORATE LINE: Foster chose as her comeback vehicle; playing the recently widowed Kyle Pratt, she sticks close to PANIC ROOM territory, delving further into fear and isolation as her character boards an airplane to escort her dead husband’s body from Berlin to New York.
Kyle brings her young daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) on the plane with her, and they fly on a craft that was designed by the grieving widow during her tragic tenure in Berlin. But after a short in-flight nap, Kyle awakes to find Julia has disappeared. Her frantic search leads nowhere, and it seems no one on the plane can remember Kyle’s daughter boarding the plane. An air marshal named Carson (Peter Sarsgaard) and the pilot of the plane, Captain Rich (Sean Bean), methodically ask Kyle some questions to determine where Julia could be, but she fails to produce any concrete evidence, not even a boarding pass. At this point, Kyle begins to doubt her own sanity, and Schwentke steers the movie through some surprising plot twists as his lead character teeters on the brink of madness. The second half of the movie drops the Hitchcockian intrigue (FLIGHTPLAN owes a sizeable debt to Hitchcock’s 1938 thriller THE LADY VANISHES) and settles into a more straightforward action film
THE REVIEW: Anyone that hated Panic Room will find themselves just as disgruntled with Flightplan—considering it’s mostly the same premise. Flightplan’s plot holes are so big you could fly a plane through them. We are supposed to wonder if there was a plot to kidnap Kyle Pratt’s daughter or if Kyle Pratt is crazy. This isn’t the Shining. Even worse is the token Arab who is supposed to throw us off the scent.
The Commentary by director Robert Schwentke is occasionally more interesting than the film. He attempts to describe away the plot holes which is entertaining.
“The In-Flight Movie: The Making of Flightplan” – This featurette adds little value to what Robert Schwentke already describes in his commentary.
“Cabin Pressure: Designing the Aalto E-474” – This is a production featurette that goes into the creation and design of the plane used in the film.
FRANKLY: What’s next for Jodi Foster? Maybe she’ll get stuck on a spaceship and an alien is trying to get her. Wait—that was already done.
+ Charlie Craine