Red Eye

Wes Craven takes an interesting turn in Red Eye. Aside from a few forays into other genres, he usually stays within the horror medium. Red Eye borders more on thriller, and its gimmick is that most of it takes place on a plane, where the person in danger is powerless to do anything about her situation. Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams, Wedding Crashers, The Notebook) is on her way home to Miami. She's afraid of flying, so Reisert feels at ease sitting next to Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy, Batman Begins, Cold Mountain), a charming traveler she met before takeoff. Things are not going well. She was late, but the flight was delayed. The passengers are restless, Reisert also has to deal with a situation back at her hotel in Miami.

Things are never what they seem, and that quickly becomes apparent for Reisert. The Secretary of Homeland Defense Charles Keefe (Jack Scalia, Shattered Lies, Ground Zero) is staying at Reisert's hotel, and assassins want to kill him. Reisert has the power to move Keefe into any room she wants, and they know this. They kidnap her father (Brian Cox, The Bourne Supremacy, Troy) and send dispatch Rippner to force Reisert to call the hotel. Every attempt by Reisert is met with a brutal response by Reisert. She is effectively trapped on the plane, unable to do anything about her situation. There are dozens of people around her, yet she cannot do a thing.

Red Eye is absolutely preposterous. But there is a sense of efficiency in the script by Carl Ellsworth and Dan Foos. But while it is such, the script, in the hands of Craven (Cursed, Scream 3) becomes a claustrophobic B-movie. This means that the movie is enjoyable even while it flies in the face of believability. The idea is ingenious. Rippner, exuding a cool sense of menace, intimidates Reisert so much that she if completely helpless. Due to the circumstances, it is impossible for her to leave her seat to do a simple thing like ask for help. The level of tension stays extremely high, and nobody watching knows what to expect.

Then, the script shoots itself in the foot. About two-thirds of the way into Red Eye, the story changes and what started as a clever premise degenerates into mindless chase scenes and explosions. There were many directions that Ellsworth and Foos could take the story, but this was probably the lamest. Red Eye is not the smartest of movies, but there is a certain slickness about it. The fast pacing is enough to make people overlook the illogical nature of the film initially, but this was just too much.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 26 minutes, Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence, and language.

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