There's No Resurrecting Disastrous "Flight of the Phoenix"
- Thursday, December 16, 2004
The dialogue is some of the worst I’ve ever heard. When we aren’t subjected to sitcom insults like, “I think a bee stung you in your stupid a–!” we get really gripping exchanges, like “How’s it going up there?” “What?” “I said, ‘How’s it going up there?’” “Oh! Fine!” Or how about the one where a character stands up and says, “We’re not garbage! We’re people!” Could somebody please cue the “We Are the World?” music? No, wait – we already have plenty of that, in montages that boast really original songs like Outkast’s “Hey, ya!” I’m so excited!
It’s almost as if scriptwriter Scott Frank (“Get Shorty,” “Minority Report”), who should know better, realized how bad it is, so he stuck in a few speeches designed to impart wisdom (as if we need more of that from Hollywood). Trying to convince Towns to make the plane, a character gives what is dubbed the “hopes and dreams speech” by Towns, who later jokes about it with Kelly (I guess he forgot she wasn’t around to hear it).
“Most people spend their whole lives hanging onto hopes and dreams that will never happen,” he says. “Why take that away from them?” Not content to leave unoriginal alone, he adds, “A man needs one thing in life – someone to love. If you can’t give him that, give him something to hope for. And if you can’t give him that, just give him something to do.” I tell you, this guy might be on Oprah next week. Stay tuned.
Then we have some P.C. preaching by the – you guessed it – token Muslim prophet, who sums up the film’s all-important message. After making fun of a character (the “dumb” Mexican, of course) who prays before his meal, and telling a joke that nullifies his faith-filled statement that God had saved their lives, the wise man offers this great insight: “Spirituality is not religion,” he says. “Religion divides people. Giving them something to believe in unites them.”
Yeah, Jihad always has that affect on me, too.
I don’t know what director John Moore is doing (“Enemy at the Gates” was a stellar film), but something’s seriously remiss. The CGI sandstorm isn’t believable, we never see anyone getting sick from the heat or constant diet of canned peaches, and no one ever gets sunburned!
Will this year never end?
AUDIENCE: Adults only.
- Drugs/Alcohol Content: Mild. Several characters smoke cigarettes.
- Language/Profanity: Heavy. About 35 obscenities (including one f---) and about half a dozen profanities.
- Sexual Content/Nudity: Mild – None. A male and female character are attracted to one another and smile, but nothing more.
- Violence: Heavy. Very violent plane crash in which several people are seriously injured or killed and/or fall from plane to their death (one is seen falling); various depictions of bloody wounds; various depictions of dead bodies – one riddled with bullets, another whose skin was ripped off by desert winds; two point-blank shootings which kill men; men argue and fight.
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