“ Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 2006 / Director: Karen Inwood Somers / Actors: Billy Ray, Peter A. Dowling ... / DVD released 27 March, 2006 at Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Dubbed, PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Flightplan is the film afforded the term "Hitchcockian", and while it is an overused term, it does ring true here: the film has a compelling mystery that isn't what it seems to begin with, and has a lot of suspense, although sadly Flightplan falls apart completely in its dodgy third act, and isn't the crackling thriller that it otherwise could have been had the close been a lot sharper. Nevertheless, Foster is a compelling screen presence as usual.
Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) is an aircraft engineer who raises her six year-old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) by herself after her husband died in an accident a few years ago. They're on a flight back home when Kyle goes to sleep and wakes up a few hours later to find her daughter is gone. She forces Captain Marcus Rich (Sean Bean) to search the craft for her. However, things take an interesting turn when it appears that there is no record of her daughter having even boarded the plane, and it is believed that she also died with her father. What's more, air marshal Gene Carson (Peter Sarsgaard) is forced to guard her, with the crux being whether Kyle has gone mental, or this all or a big trick.
There's a great idea here and the first hour is mysterious and quite fun, but then it falls to pieces very quickly with a sudden change in tone to a far more obvious action film, with a silly ending that defies logic and is impossibly convoluted. The first two acts of this film were tense, and to coin a phrase "Hitchcockian". However, everything established in these acts falls to pieces at the climax, which is ridiculous, unsatisfying, and just plain silly. A wasted opportunity despite some very good moments and solid performances throughout.
It's funny, but when people talk or write about Flightplan, they quite often come out with something like "it's a really good film, just a shame about the holes in the plot", which to me is a bit like saying "the gig was great, just a shame about the music" or "I love my new TV, if only it had a picture as well as sound".
This is a plot hole so big, so monumental, that planets struggle to escape it's gravitational pull. And it doesn't just put a bit of a dampener on the film; to my mind it tears it to pieces, chews it up and spits it out.
But, in the interests of a balanced review:
It is actually a really good idea for a film. The basic premise is that Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster), a recently bereaved widow is flying home with her six year old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston). However, on awakening she discovers said child has vanished. Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Has the child been kidnapped or is the mother as nutty as a fruitcake?
What follows, for a while at least, is a tense Hitchcock-style drama, as Pratt tries with increasing desperation to unravel the mystery. The aircrew don't remember a child, her fellow passengers don't remember her having a child. Could it be, we wonder, that the child died in the accident that killed her husband? Maybe Pratt, in her obvious emotional turmoil, has wiped it from her memory and the child is just a figment of her grieving imagination?
Foster plays the part convincingly, as one would expect of the much-decorated actress. She potrays the mother's anguish, whilst still providing us with the strong female lead to which we have become so accustomed and never really turns to the hysterical-style of acting that lesser actresses may have resorted to.
At this point, all is going well. The film is full of suspense and builds up an atmosphere of claustrophobic desperation, doing a very good job of playing up to the post 9/11 tensions. The strong cast, including Sean Bean as Captain Marcus Rich and Peter Sarsgaard as Gene Carson do a decent job of keeping the intrigue going. It's interesting and thought-provoking as we feel with Foster the fear of any parent; the agony of a lost child. It is a grippingly told tale that keeps us guessing in the style of a Hitchcock film. The majority of the film is set onboard the plane itself and is in general very sleek and stylish with unusual camera angles effects that help to maintain the interest.
Then it falls apart.
SPOILER ALERT!!!! SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!!
If you still plan watching this movie, leave this bit and scroll down to the end of the review. You have my sympathies for wasting 90 minutes of your life.
So, the climax....the child has been kidnapped and placed in the luggage hold as part of a plot to get ransom money. OK, fair enough, but how did that happen? Well I normally would try not to give too much away about a film, but this is just so ridiculously far-fetched that I'd love to know what other people think. The criminal's cunning plan (in true Baldrick style) is as follows:
1. First they have to find a woman with a child working in a foreign country who has an in-depth knowledge of a particular plane.
2. Then they have to murder her husband and make it look like an accident/suicide. She then has do decide to return home in the type of plane of which she has an in-depth knowledge, with her daughter and her husband's casket. If she decides not to do any of these things, their plan has fallen at the first hurdle.
3. They then have to successfully bribe the mortician so they can get explosives into the casket and get one of the criminal masterminds onto the very same flight on which the mother and child are planning to travel. They also need to be able to falsify all the travel information to make it look like the child was never on board
4. They then have to hope that the mother and child get on the plane without anyone noticing the child. If a single passenger or flight attendant notices the child at any point before or during the flight their plan is ruined. This must rely on the child not talking to anyone, not getting in anyone's way and being totally anonymous. The child must stay unnoticed (presumably without ever needing to go to the toilet or wanting anything from the air stewards).
5. They then have to get the child away from the mother without either waking up and presumably raising holy hell. If the mother, child or anyone sitting near them at any point wakes up, again, their plan is ruined. They can only really do this because the two of them go to the back of the plane and the empty seats to sleep. It seems our criminals are not only blessed with inconceivable intellect and persuasion skills but also a kind of sixth sense or the luck of the devil.
6. Everyone on the plane has to think she's mad. It's a fair assumption to make that a mother in that position would be acting irrationally, but all it takes is for one crew member to believe her, and it's game over for our geniuses.
7. After letting the woman escape, open her husband's casket and then recapturing her, the criminals have to convince the captain that she's not mad after all, but a hijacker who wants 50 million paid straight into her bank account.
8. And last but not least, they need to find an explosive so powerful that it will obliterate the child's body leaving not a trace of evidence.
END OF SPOILER!!!! END OF SPOILER!!!!
It's an entertaining movie and if you just suspend belief for the last few minutes or so it's all very enjoyable. I just can't see past the unbelievable and ridiculous ending. For a film that takes itself so seriously it's all a bit embarrassing. I acknowledge I'm probably in the minority here but for me the plot holes are just too big to see past. It's not just the elephant in the room that no-one can see, it's a monstrous, lumbering, multi-storey aeroplane. Probably painted pink and decorated with fairy lights. I, for one, can't ignore it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the suspension of disbelief in films. I'm quite happy to believe that upon entering a wardrobe there may well be a winter wonderland inhabited by witches and talking lions. I'll quite happily entertain the prospect, for a while at least. that we are actually living in a matrix of simulated reality.
Flightplan though is so convoluted, makes so many assumptions, and is so far-fetched that I would start looking out for flying pigs, the Easter bunny and honest politicians before I start believing this could actually happen.
After reading the incredibly mixed reviews for this movie, I decided to rewatch, and make my mind up about it, as I just hadnt decided what I thought, so I watched it for the first time in quite a while, and gave it my full attention.
I have to say that I really quite liked it...yes there are some huge plot holes (if i took my child on a plane, believe me, most people would notice!) and some quite serious data protection issues (the guys on the plane just randomly decided to call the morgue for information about their passenger?) but all in all, these were necessary in order for the story to run.
Jodie foster plays Kyle Pratt, a woman who ha just lost her husband to suicide. She has to face the prospect of moving back to America from Berlin, with her 6 year old daughter, who is also traumatised by the loss of her father.
On the plane, she discovers that her daughter is missing, and that no-one saw her board the plane with her, no documents etc. As the movie progresses, Kyle starts to doubt her own mind and sanity.
There is a pretty predictable twist at the end, although I didnt guess it until the director wanted me to guess, and while I knew there was something going on, I wasnt certain until a particular point, when all was made very clear.
Starting with Jodie, I think thet she was pretty average during the first, slow build up in the film, but as the story progresses, and she is given the opportunity to let loose a bit, I feel that she comes into her own a bit and starts to enjoy her role more. She seems more suited to the panicking, running around the place kind of role, than the calm, nervous woman she plays in the beginning.
Sean Bean is fantastic I think as the captain, making tough choices and being responsible for the lives and well being of hundreds of people, his strain is portrayed very well and I was disappointed that his character did not have abigger role. But then again, who would be flying the plane??
The other actors, even the air marshall, played byPeter Saarsgard, are average, certainly not poor, but there was nothing outstanding about the performances, just no spark really. Hard to put my finger on it.
It does start off very very slowly, but you can feel the pace building until, at the climax, everything is pretty frantic, possibly to draw you through the emotions of the character, who starts off very calm and placid, and ends up really really panicky, and frantic. The ending tapers off again, again seemingly more in line with teh lead characters emotions, and this is a well paced movie in that respect.
Filming scenes depicting an aeroplane, even a HUGE one, are difficult, and could prove difficult in giving any movement or depth, but it was very well done, there were many different facets to the shots from above, low angles, peeking through the passengers, from toilets etc and it actually gave the craft possibly more depth than a huge set, and all the chioces that it would give.
Despite being quite predicatable, and a slow starter, I did enjoy this movie, and watching the extras on the DVD gave me further appreciation as to exactly what went into it.
The making of featurettes totalled a viewing time of at least 30 minutes, and I thoroughly enjoyed them, well worth a peek if you buy the DVD.
A friend recommended this film to me a while back, and I had forgotten about it until I was shopping in Asda the other day and noticed it on sale for £5.
I mentioned it to my daughter who was with me, asking if she had seen it. To my surprise she told me she had it back at home on DVD!
So last night I finally got to watch it.
Flight Plan is a thriller starring Jodie Foster, and a supporting cast which includes Sean Bean, Peter Sarsgaard and Erika Christensen.
Jodie Foster is Kyle Pratt, an aircraft propulsion engineer in Berlin. Following the suicide of her husband, she is making preparations to fly back to her parents in New York with her six year-old daughter Julia.
Also on the plane, a state-of-the art Aalto-E474, will be her husband's body, which she is flying back to New York for his funeral.
The film begins with Kyle making preparations to fly to New York and includes one or two flashbacks to recent days with her husband, which I found a little confusing at first, but it is important to note you must really pay attention to this film from the start, as there are a few hints here which help you understand the plot later.
Her daughter is afraid of flying to New York, and Kyle reassures her daughter, by saying she will hide her under her coat and carry her on board.
Once on the plane, Kyle suggests to her daughter they move seats after take-off so they can stretch out and go to sleep on empty seats near the back of the plane.
3 hours later, Kyle awakes to find her daughter missing. Thinking she may have gone to to the toilet, she sets off to look for her.
The plane is enormous, with an upstairs, and Kyle searches the aisles and toilets looking for her daughter, becoming increasingly worried when she fails to find her. The cabin crew do not seem to be taking her seriously, and no one seems able to recall her daughter ever being on the flight. Frantic, she demands to speak to the captain, played by Sean Bean, who orders a search of the plane, but still there is no sign of her daughter.
The captain then tells her there is no record of her daughter ever boarding the plane, to which Kyle becomes hysterical, and fearing for the safety of his passengers, the captain orders the flight marshall, played by Peter Sarsgaard to stay with her.
It seems that Kyle is mentally unstable, and you are left to wonder, did her daughter actually board the flight or not? Has she vanished without a trace, or was she never there in the first place?
Kyle is left desperate and alone, fighting for her sanity, as nobody seems to believe her.
There are a few twists and turns to this fast-paced thriller before it reaches its conclusion, which kept me guessing to the end. And while I do like films like these, and do not like to know how a film is going to end half way through, I found the ending a little confusing, as if I had missed something.
I found myself having to think about it for a while after it ended, and there are still one or two parts which left me a little confused.
Jodie Foster was excellent, portraying an anxious mother to perfection, as she became more and more frantic, looking for her missing daughter and beginning to doubt her own sanity.
Sean Bean played a good role as the captain of the plane,I am quite a fan of his, but he was not in the film as much as I thought he would be. It was strange to see him looking clean-shaven and smart in his uniform!
Peter Sarsgaard was probably a bit of a let down playing the flight marshall. His character started off ok, but was not convincing enough for me as the film went on, he seemed to lack something.
The acting by those playing the cabin crew was quite good as they are convinced the child never actually boarded the plane, and exchange knowing looks between each other as Kyle insists they keep searching the plane.
The character of the therapist who is on board and asked to speak with Kyle, I felt was ridiculous and the acting terrible, but it was only a very small part of the film amounting to a couple of minutes. There was, however some good acting by those who played the parts of passengers on the plane.
Overall it is a good fast-paced thriller with a few twists and turns, which demands your attention from start to finish, but the ending did make me feel slightly that something was missing, and the role played by Peter Sarsgaard could have been better in my opinion.
It's worth a watch and I would give it 4 out of 5.
The DVD has extra bonus features :-
In Flight Movie
The Making of Flight Plan
Designing the Aalto-E-474
Aalto map, and more.
Flightplan is available from Amazon priced at £3.98 and I have also seen it available in Asda at £5.00.
I rented the DVD for this film ages ago, but when it came on telly again, I had forgotten all the details of what happened, so happily watched it again. I think the first time I saw it, I was drawn in by the potential of the film to be a powerful thriller, and by the bizarre idea that a child can completely go missing on an aeroplane flight. Sadly I can't even remember whether I really enjoyed it that much, but I obviously didn't hate it, so second time I expected it to at least be a good film.
It seems like life couldn't get any worse for Kyle Pratt. She is still in shock from discovering that her husband fell to his death and she is left alone with her daughter, Julia, in Berlin. Now they need to take the body of her husband back home to America, so they board their flight with his casket in the hold. Julia is terrified, a child burdened with grief, so understandably she might act strange, but when Kyle wakes up mid-flight to find that her daughter is nowhere to be found, it is just too out-of-character. As time continues and there is no sign of Julia, things start to become more sinister. Nobody ever saw her on the flight, there's two men on board the plane that Kyle could have sworn she saw staring into Julia's bedroom window the night before, and everyone thinks she imagined her daughter being on the plane all along.
I suppose this must be every mother or father's nightmare, to lose a child and have no-one to help you. Of course the film is not intended only to appeal to parents or people with responsibilities. I think I could somehow relate to it in another way. There's also the idea of trying to convince everyone you're not crazy and imagining things when they've already decided you must be. Everything you do they are bound to interpret wrongly, so what can you do?! This element of the film I did particularly enjoy, but I'm not sure that it couldn't have been done better, because it never really moved me in the way I'd expect.
This film tries hard to keep suspense throughout. The whole story just cries conspiracy, but to be honest I did have doubts about what was coming next and who to watch out for. Then again, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box! It does have twists, but what really baffles you throughout is how someone can possibly go missing on a plane in the first place. When I saw it the second time around, my memory wasn't great so I couldn't remember everything, but it all fell into place by about halfway through, and by then it was plain obvious where the plot was going, so I guess not everyone will be impressed by this.
As most of the film takes place during the flight, there is a claustrophobic side to it because there is no way of getting outside help until the plane lands and obviously it is hard to move around on a plane so this makes it all the more frustrating. On the other hand, it's obvious (if she hasn't imagined her being there) that the girl must be on the plane somewhere, because where else could she go?
Jodie Foster pulled off an amazing performance as Kyle Pratt. There was only one moment, where frankly I felt the scene had been overmilked and I almost woke from the daze she'd got me in the rest of the time and saw her as an actress over-dramatising. It was a momentary lapse, so probably this will not affect many people. I think a lot of people agree that really she made this film good, rather than just average.
Peter Sarsgaard, who plays a flight marshall charged with the duty of guarding Kyle during her desperate search, was also very impressive. The captain and flight attendants were also well performed, as you might expect they start out as very professional and emotionall detached but start to develop their own individual personalities as the film goes on. A few of the passengers also start to stand out and appear either suspicious or at least as potential trouble makers. It is really hard to tell if they have hidden motives, which makes the film all more mysterious.
There was something clinical about the appearance of this film at the start, especially in Berlin. I've been to Berlin and it's not really like that! Then we get on the plane, and it's all very formal and clean. I'm amazed at the size of these aircrafts, although yes they probably do exist (I had this same thought on Snakes on a Plane, actually). Everything is really classy and modern, but also a bit on the dark side, which remains the case through much of the film (well, a lot of it is set at night and it usually is a bit darker!). This also makes it easier to spot places a child could disappear, which frankly, I found myself doing a lot of to begin with. The appearance of other, non-economy-passenger parts of the plane was weird, though. I didn't understand why, for instance, economy class (standard, whatever) was so dark yet first class was fully lit, or why the holds and other places were also very brightly lit the whole time. But I guess that's how the film was done.
The film does deal with death and also includes some violence, which are likely to be key reasons for a higher rating, but over all there is not really anything too much for over 12s. I didn't see much visual gore, although it may be imaginable. Theres nothing sexual, and to be honest come to think of it I don't remember any swearing in the film, unless I've just learnt to ignore it! Suffice it to say the language isn't too strong then. Therefore the rating of 12 is quite appropriate in my opinion.
This film is not one to lift you up or entertain you, but if you fancy being on the edge of your seat, it might be worth a go. It's not a tear-jerker, but it is clearly a sad story just from how it starts out, so be prepared or a few moving moments. I saw it twice because I had pretty much forgotten the detail of the story second time around, in fact I momentarily wasn't sure I had actually seen it at all before when it came on! It's not memorable, which is not usually a good thing, but on the other hand means that it is watchable more than once, if you leave enough time! Frankly, once you know what's going to happen, the urge to see it just fades, so I probably would not have seen it twice had I remembered! In spite of great performances, and a really good, clever story, the film just isn't great. I would certainly recommend it, but you probably would be better off seeing it on telly whenever it comes on again!
It's an extra day off work due to inclement weather (yup! the snow has driven us to stay indoors), so there is extra time to watch a movie that has been sitting in the cupboard for a while.
Flight Plan is a thriller directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen, and Sean Bean. It was released by Touchstone Pictures in 2005, and is apparently based on the classic film The Lady Vanishes, which had released 67 years earlier.
I am a bit of a wimp these days when it comes to watching films. Anything over a 12 rating and I have to sit near the door. If there is any hint of violence I am usually known to go and make a cup of tea! Don't get me wrong, I like a good action movie, I just find it hard to cope with the tension and violence. So was this movie too much for me? Did I have to spend the duration drinking earl grey or even worse a fruit tea?!
Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) is a propulsion engineer (whatever that is!) based in Berlin, Germany. Her husband David has tragically died from falling off building (did he jump or was he pushed?), and now Kyle and her six year-old daughter Julia (Marlene Lawston) are flying home to Long Island in the good old US of A, to bury him and stay with Kyle's parents.
The mother and daughter are flying aboard a fictional plane, which Kyle helped design. It is absolutely huge and the seats look very comfortable! After falling asleep for a few hours, Kyle wakes to find that Julia is missing. At first she remains calm as she wanders the plane looking for her daughter, after all there are plenty on places on this plane for an inquisitive 6 year old to explore. It is not too long however before she starts to panic, and Captain Marcus Rich (Sean Bean) is forced to conduct a search. Kyle walks the aisles, questioning people, but none of her fellow passengers remembers having seen her either. It soon becomes apparent that no-one on board believes she boarded the flight with a child. Shockingly, one of the flight attendants calls in to the airport they just departed from, and the gate attendant says that they have no record of Julia even boarding the flight. In addition, according to the passenger list, Julia's seat is registered empty. When Kyle checks for Julia's boarding pass, it is missing.
And so the drama unfolds. Will Kyle find her daughter, or is she just a grieving and delusional widow? You are certainly led to believe that she is CRAZY. After all what reason has anyone for taking a little girl on a plane?
I quite like Jodi Foster as an actress. I loved the original 'Freaky Friday' that she starred in as a child and have subsequently watched many films that have her cast in the leading role. In my younger and less nervy days I even watched 'Silence of the Lambs'. Foster, as always, injects her character with believability and she plays the distraught and anxious mother well.
I was drawn into the film quickly and the opening scenes tell of the family tragedy and the music only enhances the initial tension. (I did wonder if my nerves would last the length of the film).The plot moves quickly and we see Kyle flying her late husband's body back home on the commercial flight. The film continues on at a good pace which is great as it leaves the viewer free to switch their brain off and just enjoy the ride, without querying too much the script that even I found a little predictable.
However I did enjoy the film. It was a good solid movie and I didn't have to make one cup of tea. I was suitably anxious but not enough to send me running to the kettle! It's hard to say too much without giving they story away.
Would I recommend this film? Yes - I thought it was a good thriller with enough tension to keep me watching to the end. There were twists and turns that keep you involved in the plot.
I am only giving this 4 stars as I recognise that there could have been more thrills in this thriller!
~Other Stuff ~
Running Time -98 minutes
Certificate - 12
We bought this from Asda for £3 (Cheaper than renting)
Avaiable on Amazon for £5.98
Thank you for reading.
Flightplan is a tense thriller starring Jodie Foster, I have seen it many times & have always felt that it is very overlooked as it is such an edge of your seat film that deserves recognition. Foster plays Kyle Pratt a recently widowed mother, her husband died as a result of suicide, he jumped when doing maintenance on a plane & died. Kyle is obviously devastated but must stay strong for 6 year old daughter Julia.
The 2 of them have been in Berlin which is where Kyle's husband tragically died & they must now fly back to New York with the coffin on board for the funeral. Kyle & Julia safely board the huge plane & take their seats. Not too long into the flight Kyle falls asleep & with the seatbelt sign off this leaves 6 year old Julia to roam free on the plane. 3 hours into the flight Kyle wakes up to find that her daughter isn't in her seat next to her. She begins to panic & looks around the close area where they were sitting as well as asking passengers close by but no one has seen her.
After contacting flight attendants she asks to speak to the captain, played by Sean Bean. Firstly he tells his staff to search the plane high & low to find the missing child but then after a phone call he comes back to tell Kyle the devastating news that her daughter's dead & died a few weeks ago. No one remembers seeing the young girl & she is not on the flight manifest so it begins to look more & more like Kyle is delusional as a result of the trauma she has been through, however Kyle knows her own mind & she fights tooth & nail to make people believe her & to find her daughter.
This is a great film that will have you hooked from the minute Julia goes missing right to the end. The twists in it are great & unexpected, this is a taut & interesting thriller that shouldn't be overlooked as just a regular film because this film is far from regular. It has an excellent storyline & Jodie Foster is great as the bereaved wife & terrified mother.
Imagine you're taking a trip on an aeroplane with your only child just days after your spouse has died and you fall asleep, only to wake up shortly afterwards and your child has seemingly disappeared. Not just disappeared from their seat but all trace of them ever having been on the flight seems to be gone too. Can you imagine how much terror you would feel? Wouldn't you panic? I know I would and basically this is the basis of the story for Flightplan; a movie starring the ever-talented Jodie Foster as Kyle Pratt; a propulsion engineer.
Kyle is based in Germany and the movie begins with Kyle having to deal with her husband's suicide by jumping from the roof of a building and Kyle trying to deal with her grief whilst preparing to take her 6 year old daughter Julia to New York to bury her husband.
As if she's not had enough pain to deal with, when she wakes on the plane and Julia is missing, absolutely no one seems to actually believe her. Everyone claims not to have even seen Julia board the flight or have even noticed her sitting next to Kyle before they moved to vacant seats further back so they could stretch out and have a nap. She tries hard not to panic; after all, Julia couldn't have gone far, could she? But as time passes and she can't find her little girl anywhere Kyle insists on speaking with the Captain, played by Sean Bean, who listens to her worries and agrees for the cabin crew to conduct thorough searches of all areas that Julia could feasibly hidden in. Whilst Julia isn't found, the Captain starts to doubt her sanity and puts her in the care of an air marshal who happens to be on board, Carson (Peter Sarsguard) as Kyle seems to be getting hysterical and the Captain is concerned her behaviour is going to scare his other 400 or so passengers.
Now this is a film, a piece of fiction - so we shouldn't get too deeply immersed into it, but can you imagine how you would feel if you were in our heroine's position? Foster's acting was so convincing that I could practically feel her panic myself and I was glued to my seat watching the film to find out what happened. It was a traumatic ride mind you and kudos to Foster that she manages to invoke such emotions from the viewer. Throughout the film until just before the climax of the film, you don't know if Foster is a psycho and imagined her daughter's presence on the flight or if there is a conspiracy by everyone on the plane against her or what else to imagine. It's very atmospheric and there's one scene where the penny drops and Foster realises that the crew all think she's mad and she turns it around and accuses them of all being insane. The way this scene is filmed is key to how we, as viewers, get to empathise with her character. She doesn't come across as a hysterical mother throwing her weight around and being abusive to everyone around her in her state of panic but as someone who has just suffered a major trauma in her life (i.e. the loss of her husband) and is now facing the loss of her daughter. It was also interesting to see Foster looking like she's aging now. I guess her character is supposed to be in her 40s and it surprised me somewhat that you get to see Foster looking so vulnerable with wrinkles showing!
I always adore Sean Bean whether he's playing the good guy or the bad guy. I am glad he was cast as the Captain, even though he didn't have as much screen time as I would have liked. I think he did the role justice and he sure did look sauve in his Captain's uniform!
Peter Sarsguard as the air marshal played an interesting role. He looks very clean cut and has sort of a smiley face and because of this look it was very hard to work out what he was thinking and whether he was playing the role seriously or not. It was difficult to work him out as I've not seen him in any other films that I can think of. It might have been deliberate and if so, it was very clever. Even if it wasn't deliberate; it worked. He did his role real justice!
The young actress who played Julia, Marlene Lawston, was very sweet and all credit to her acting skills that her character's sadness at losing her father looked extremely realistic. She also is not given very much screen time but obviously it was important to cast a child who could work well with Foster (which she did) and could portray grief credibly (also which she did)!
For those who enjoy hi-tech aspects of films, there are a few good things to look out for namely the way the credits roll on the side of the train at the start of the film and the way they run at the end of the film. The plane used in the film is a fictional model (the Aalto E-474) and seriously I've never seen a plane that large. It had two floors for passenger seating as well as a bar area and was even carrying a car in the luggage area - the whole plane just seemed enormous! I want to fly on a plane like that!
One particular scene which I didn't feel was cleared up was Foster's insistence that an Arab passenger knew about what had happened to her daughter. This wasn't cleared up to my liking and it was somewhat annoying that the "he must be a terrorist because he's Muslim" side-plot was included in the film. When you see the climax of the film, this is even more confusing.
I was quite amused to read on Wikipedia that "The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, called for an official boycott of the film, which they say depicts flight attendants as rude, uncaring, indifferent..." This made me smile as I don't recall the last time I took a long or short haul flight (and I take at least a couple of airline trips every year) where I felt every flight attendant was polite, caring and conscientious. More often it's a case of the majority being rude, uncaring and indifferent and one is lucky when there are one or two good ones on one's flight!
I can't really say if the story and outcome was credible or not as this would let the cat out of the bag somewhat and I don't believe in spoiling things for potential viewers. I really enjoyed the film and my only complaint was that I felt some bits of the climax might not have been tied up as tidily as I would have hoped. A few small questions were left unanswered but then again I am quite difficult to please when it comes to thrillers or mysteries and want everything clearly explained to my satisfaction. I would be quite happy to give Flightplan a strong 8.5 out of 10!
Release date: 2005
Runtime: approximately 100 minutes
Director: Robert Schwentke
Producer(s): Robert DeNozzi, Charles J D Schlissel, Brian Grazer
Music by: James Horner
This review may appear on other consumer review sites under my same username.
This movie was pretty entertaining, I would recommend watching it once at least if you are a Jodi Foster and suspense movie fan, seeing as it did keep me interested the entire movie. Jodie Foster does a great job at playing her role as the distressed mother searching for her child. The storyline is very interesting and different from any movie I have ever watched.
The story revolves around Kyle Pratt, played by Jodie Foster who faces the most traumatizing experience all mothers pray they will never have to face, when Kyles six year old daughter Julia disappears in the middle of their flight from Berlin to New York Kyle's worst nightmare is realized. You see this is not the first tragedy that has struck Kyle Pratt. Recently Kyle and Julia lost their husband/father unexpectedly, so when Julia disappears mid flight and not even one person on the flight can remember seeing Julia, Kyle begins to question her sanity.
This movie will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time as Kyle has to maneuver her way around the people that are trying to stop her from realizing the truth of what happened or didn't happen to her daughter.
I obviously recommend this film.
I finally rented Flightplan! I couldn't find anymore excuses (it was that or Ghostrider), very much my third pick for the 3 for £6 deal in Blockbusters this week. Sadly I now I know why I hadn't rented it. Always go with your instinct. It wasn't very good. I'm going to have to go on to the 2 for £6 deal if this keeps up.
Its one of those movies you're not really sure about so you leave it on the rack and hope it comes on TV soon, raising a relived smile when it turns out to be average and so you saved that three quid rental. But it never did come on normal telly and so I had no choice at the start of the rental season as it was mocking me on the middle rack. I thought the idea of Jodie Foster losing a kid on a plane was a silly one in the first place and as the whole film rests on where the kid is then this movie stood or fell on that point, which it did with a thump. Director Rob Schwentke does try his hardest to feed you a bum steer or two to build the tension and narrative, the later by far the movies strong point, but it does tail off rather badly.
Fosters is a solid actress and even though she built her reputation on the equally silly Silence of the Lambs, earning her that bizarre Oscar, she does do great angst ridden characters that keep a film moving forward, as is the case here. To give this a chance and the big budget it got they had to get a big name like her on board, like the rip-roaring nonsense that is Snakes on a Plane with Samuel J Jackson seemed to work because of, Flightplan every inch a B-Movie like that until Foster got her boarding pass. The fact she hasn't had any success since her glory years maybe the reason why she is taking jobs like this.
Jodie Foster ... Kyle Pratt
Peter Sarsgaard ... Carson
Sean Bean ... Captain Rich
Kate Beahan ... Stephanie
Michael Irby ... Obaid
Assaf Cohen ... Ahmed
Erika Christensen ... Fiona
Jana Kolesarova ... Claudia
Kyle? (Foster) has suffered a family tragedy in Berlin, she and her small daughter Julia (Marlene Lawstone) having to face the grim task of having to accompanying her dead husband on a flight back to America. Bewildered in Berlins snowy streets and airport they board the plane and take their seats amongst the usual mix of noisy, obstinate and paranoid passengers preparing for take off, the tension levels lifted as the overhead lockers are slammed shut and seat belts 'clunked' into place. But when she wakes some three hours into the flight her daughter is not in her seat, Kyle soon frantic to where she is hiding, demanding the crew search every locker and air space on the aircraft until she is found. Kyle just so happens to be a propulsion engineer and knows the brand new planes design back-to-front and so is hard to refuse in the panic situation, the sympathetic Captain (Sean Bean) letting her poke around some with the help of the crew to help her search, pulled from their normal duties to try and calm her down. They are 30,000 ft up over the Atlantic so Julia can't have gone far.
When the little girl doesn't show, Kyle gets rather frantic and out of control, soon blaming the nearest Arab passengers for her child's disappearance, the other passengers only to keen to agree with that in the current climate, every shudder of the plane lifting the paranoia and tension levels another notch, Kyle having to be restrained by in flight Air-Marshal Jack Carson (Peter Sarsgaard) to stop her crashing the thing (the plane, not the movie). Strangely know one seems to have seen the girl get on the plane with her mum and so she's quickly painted as a hysterical nut and so imagining it all, her husbands death causing the denial. The fact she's on antidepressants is not helping her case. But there are plenty of places a kid can stowaway on the worlds most advanced super airliner and Kyle knows exactly where they are. If she is on that plane then mums going to find her, come what may.
Since 911 any airplane movie has added tension because of those images we all saw seven years ago, and as you would expect, a good Hollywood movie maker will build on that intrinsic fear air travel brings these days. Red Eye on the same theme tried to do it and failed atrociously, whilst United 93 was more blatant with its cash-in for director Paul Greengrass. So if that's the plan with Flighplan then where did it go wrong? Well the answer is the ending, nowhere near smart enough to justify the obvious production values on this movie. Its a shame as it shows real potential early on as your brain calculates all the possibilities of where the kids is as the film gently twists and squirms in the brooding Atlantic night sky, the portencious lizard tongue licks of lightning and cliché cracks of thunder a signal the plot is about to alter, before the final jolt and conclusion as all is revealed, which makes for the rather silly conclusion.
Its strengths are the tension pumping mechanisms director Schwantke exploits well, enjoying his big budget and quality cast. But if the main course is so well prepared and served then why was the sweet so disappointing? The answer, of course, was there was never really a serious film here. You get the feeling all along watching this that it's a very old script that has been sitting on the shelf and was only dusted down because of 911, and not because its was a clever or interesting idea.
Its B-Movie stuff guys and perhaps only one for the Jodie Foster fans or the girls that want to swoon over Sean Bean in a captains uniform (new series of Sharpe coming up ladies!), neither of those things appealing to this particular viewer.
= = = = = Special Features = = = = =
-The In-flight Movie: The Making of 'Flightplan-
It's your straight forward look at the making of the movie, neatly segmented into categories on the various aspects of the movie making process.
Here we look at the design of the set of the Alto airlines fictional E474 aircraft. The nature of the film with Foster searching for her kid always meant the set and planes innards would have to be unrealistically big, another silly dimension to the film.
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Imdb.com scores it 6.2 out on 10.0 (35,421 votes)
RuN-TiME 98 minutes
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Basically this is the story of a woman who falls asleep on a plane and loses her daughter but no-one remembers her having a daughter. It doesn't sound very exciting or interesting because its not.
I've read that the lead character was going to played by Sean Penn. What happened there then? Jodie Foster is going to annoy you in this film. Parents might relate to the film better than people who haven't got any kids.
The start of this film is rubbish, and totally not needed. We don't need to see her husband or see her seeing him in the morgue. All we needed was someone telling her he's dead and their transporting him back to America.
Also seeing all the passengers board. Not needed. The family sitting in front of Jodie Foster quite obviously do see her child as they are all looking over the seats and talking to her for a good few minutes. I didn't really see the need to show the coffin on the luggage transporter. All that was required was Jodie asking a steward if the coffin was in the hold and then a shot of it in the hold.
I didn't understand why Jodie didn't explain her husbands death which would have made her state of mind better. I don't see how there was no record of the daughter on the plane. This would mean that there was someone on the ground helping them as well. She wasn't on the manifest but she'd be on her mothers passport at age 6 wouldn't she?
Throwing the Arabs into the mix was a bit naughty, and racist. The whole idea of them being kidnappers or white slavers. The idea that the girl died, she'd have her own coffin. So why Jodie opened her husbands coffin, and how she was able to? I thought it would be well and truly sealed.
The whole "Sky Marshall is a terrorist" was a bit of a crappy idea. I didn't get why the pilot refused to search the hold. Generally this film is naff. And people say they've watched this on a plane? Isn't that a really bad idea. Avoid this. It's beyond awful.
I had put off watching this film because a friend had told me how unsatisfactory the ending was. having watched this film on tv last night, I am gutted i didnt go and see it in the cinema because I think it would have had a greater effect on me on the big screen. Cutting to the chase, my friend was right - the ending is a bit of an anti-climax, but the rest of the film, given its limited location, does very well to hold water for what is nearly a 2 hour film.
The basic plot is thus: Jodie Foster is taking her daughter and her dead husband (in a coffin in the luggage hold) back to new york (they lived in germany - she was involved in flight engineering surprise surprise) and then her daughter gets lost onboard and panic ensues.
Having heard the ending already, i knew that when the angle took the one it did midway, this was just to fool the audience.
but there were some subtle choices of camerawork to keep the audience guessing in of those 'who is in on it' situations.
there is a slight post 9/11 feel to the film aswell - the paranoia from passengers that the plane could be hijacked - you only have to look at the scene where an arab looking man gets questioned by jodie foster and then see how the passengers react.
Sean Bean is the only other recognisable actor that makes up the cast and its a shame that his role merely holds the story together. still i am sure he got paid a mint for it.
I liked this film because i like movies where the action is contained in one location - castaway, shawshank etc so, apart from the ending, i did enjoy this film, though not enough to buy it
Director: Robert Schwentke.
Producers: Robert DeNozzi, Charles J.D. Schlissel and Brian Grazer.
Writers: Peter A. Dowling and Billie Ray
Stars: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean and Erika Christensen.
Released in September 2005 this thriller seemed to be a mind playing game as a woman has to pursued the authorities that her daughter has gone missing.
When Kyle Pratt, (played by Jodie Foster) gets on a flight from Berlin to New York with her daughter Julia, (played by Marlene Lawston) her life changes for ever.
A few hour into the flight Kyle discovers that her daughter has gone missing from the plane but when she starts investigating it turns out that no one ever saw her daughter getting on the plane.
When Kyle's behaviour starts to panic the other passengers the pilot, (played by Sean Bean) orders Carson, the on board Marshall, (played by Peter Sarsgaard) to restrain the now hysterical passenger.
With Kyle then mistrusting her own mind after only just loosing her husband in a car crash, she begins to believe her daughter is dead, until she sees the truth from a message in the glass.
A good film in all, using a slightly confusing story line with some gripping action moments made this one worth watching.
Although the beginning seems a little slow keep watching as it is not long until the story gets going to reveal the forever plot twisting tale.
Jodie Foster plays her part as the confused, if slightly insane mother/ widow with amazing professionalism, managing to keep the audience guessing as to whether she is insane due to her husbands death.
Even the death of her husband reveals a sudden twist as the truth emerges during the movie.
The twist in the plot are many, making the audience constantly change their minds as to how the movie will end. Such twists as whether Kyle really did board with her daughter or did the daughter die with the father in the car crash.
Would I recommend this movie..?
Yes I would, but only if you know that you're not going to be distracted as this is a movie that needs a little bit extra concentration to keep up with the twists and turns.
Another great Jodie Foster movie...
Kyle Pratt has recently lost her husband, who committed suicide, and has decided to move with her daughter, Julia, from Berlin back to the US, where memories of her husband are less painful. On the plane, Kyle manages to get a couple of hours sleep, then wakes to discover that her daughter is no longer by her side. She searches for her, to no avail; no-one can find her and, even worse, no-one can even remember having seen her. Subsequent calls by the crew back to Berlin reaffirm that Julia didn't board the plane and, in fact, died at the same time as her husband. But Kyle knows that they are lying. Is Kyle mentally disturbed following the death of her family? Or is there a conspiracy to make her seem so?
Jodie Foster is an actress that I have long admired for her acting skills - for once, this is a Hollywood actress who fully deserves to be as commended as she is. For me, her role as Kyle held this film together. Her ability to show emotion at the loss of her daughter was so utterly convincing that it could have been her own daughter and it is this emotion that makes the plot believable. Foster is beginning to show the ravages of age - she is in her 40s after all - but the loss of the dewiness of youth really doesn't matter when you can act in the way that she can. I would rate her performance as Kyle up there with that of Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs.
Peter Sarsgaard plays Carson, the marshall in charge of safety on the flight. This is a rather strange performance, rather because of the way that the story is put together than because of anything that he did wrong. He changes character in the blink of an eye; one minute not believing anything that Kyle said, the next going out of his way to cooperate with her. I think he did well to work within the parameters that he was given, but I can't say I was particularly convinced by his performance. Sean Bean appears in the film as the captain and does a good enough job, although his role isn't big enough to really affect the film either way.
As a thriller, this film works quite well. Kyle's fear and determination to save her daughter at all costs is enough to convince the viewer that something is badly wrong, be it in Kyle's head or not, and this was more than enough to keep me watching. I have always enjoyed 'closed door' crime fiction, where the story takes place on an island or a stately home, or some other enclosed space, because you know that the answer to the crime/plot is not too far away. Setting it on an airplane is a new one, for me, at least, and the feeling of claustrophobia as Kyle runs up and down the plane looking for Julia is well done. I've read reviews calling the film Hitchcock-esque - I can certainly see why because the storyline is reminiscent of The Lady Vanishes, although I think the quality is more like one of the weaker Hitchcocks rather than something like Vertigo or Psycho.
On the negative side though, there are an awful lot of flaws in the story and I really found that these got in the way of my enjoyment of the film. I can't go into too much detail without giving away the plot, but Kyle's profession is just too much of a coincidence and feels manufactured to fit in with the plot. Plus there is little explanation of why things happened in the way that they do. I don't like to get too hung up with perfectly explained plot lines - sometimes it is good to have something to think about - but in this case, I really would have liked to have understood more about what happened. By the time the end credits had rolled, I felt as though something was missing - I even back-tracked just to make sure that the DVD hadn't accidentally skipped a part.
On the whole, I did enjoy this film. Foster's performance was inspiring and has reinforced my admiration for her. And the story, if flawed, is engaging enough - there was certainly no doubt that I was going to watch it all the way through. However, niggles with the plot, which some may think unfair bearing in mind it is a piece of fiction, still get in the way of my total enjoyment. I'm not sure that I would recommend buying a copy, but it is worth renting or looking out for on the television.
The DVD is available from play.com for £4.99.
Running time: 98 minutes
The plot of this film has many similarities of art house movie Bunny Lake Is Missing.
It stars Jodie Foster as a mother Kyle Pratt, mother to six year old daughter Julia. She boards fictional airline from Berlin, destination New York. When the flight takes off Kyle goes to sleep for about three hours when she wakes up she realises Julia is missing.
Where can a girl go in a plane? What happens when people think you are imagining because of recent loss of your husband, could Julia be figment of Kyle's imagination. Problem Kyle has it that no one has seen the girl boarding the flight; Initial sympathetic reaction turns to unhelpful and hostile when Kyle becomes insistent and starts disturbing everyone's peace.
Modern mystery set on a flight. Acting by Ms Foster is quite good. She is good in the role. If there are any problems in the film it is to do with writing - plot is easily made to adapt the situation. Several things are indicators for the plot to proceed to next level, film is OK to watch.
I want to add here that the interior of the plane looks good and it looks real. I have travelled myself and never found flight crew rude and none of them were terrorists so I feel in little way this film is unfair to them.
Looking at flightplan today it is a run of the mill film however if it was made in the sixties or even by Hitchcock it would be called a classic. Films have moved on so much and so many are made every year that rarely one excites me unless it is absolutely new material.
DVD sold by amazon.co.uk for Price: £6.98.
DVD details as listed on that site.
* Actors: Billy Ray, Peter A. Dowling, Brian Grazer, Robert Schwentke, Jodie Foster
* Directors: Karen Inwood Somers
* Format: Anamorphic, Dubbed, PAL
* Language English
* Region: Region 2 ( DVD formats.)
* Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
* Number of discs: 1
* Classification: 12
* Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
* DVD Release Date: 27 Mar 2006
* Run Time: 94 minutes
* Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars (57 customer reviews)
* DVD Features:
o Main Language: English
o Available Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1
o Sub Titles: Danish, English, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
o Dubbed Language(s): Spanish
o Hearing Impaired: English
o Disc Format: DVD 9
o In Flight Movie The Making Of Flightplan
o Security Checkpoint Story Of A Thriller
o Captains Greeting Meeting The Director
o Passenger Manifest Casting the Film
o Connecting Flights Post Production
o Emergency Landing Visual Effects
o Cabin Pressure Designing The Aalto E474
o Easter Eggs
* ASIN: B000DZJFFI
If you can forgive plot holes that you could drive the airliner of your choice through the middle of, then Flightplan is an effective, pacey Hollywood thriller, that somehow manages to hold everything together in spite of its challenging plausibility. Credit for that must go to its lead actress. In the hands of a lesser talent, this is just the kind of movie that could descend into obscurity. But Jodie Foster, as always, injects her character with a believability and a drive thats hard to resist, and here is no different. The plot sees her flying her late husbands body back home on a commercial flight. As her and her six year old daughter settle down, Foster soon falls asleep, awaking to find no sign of her child, and no one who can even remember her being on the flight. Has someone taken her? Is it all in Fosters mind? These are the questions the film circles, and for a good hour of its running time, its compelling Hollywood-style entertainment. The cracks soon appear when you examine the film more closely though, and its as if Flightplan is just as aware of that as everyone else. The decision therefore to keep the film moving at a good pace is a wise one, leaving the viewer free to switch their brain off and just enjoy the ride, without querying too much the glabrous script that rarely makes as good use of the premise as youd hope. Yet the film still works. It may, after the credits have rolled, have failed to live up to its potential, and theres a good hour of dissection waiting to happen afterwards. Yet, crucially, theres also the best part of a couple of hours of good, solid entertainment in it for you too.--Jon Foster