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- Story -
This movie is a remake of the 1965 movie of the same name and as such, the story is pretty much identical. For those who haven't seen or heard of it, basically a group of Americans take flight from the middle of the Mongolian desert, having been ordered to come home after an oil field is shut down. However, a storm brews not far from the airport and the airplane ends up crashing in the middle of the desert. They fear the worst, with an estimated 5% chance of any rescue party discovering them. A few days after the crash, one of them suddenly proclaims that they can be saved, that he's calculated it'd be possible to fix the plane so that they can fly out of the desert and on to safety - however, this would, obviously, take alot of work and they only have so much water, plus with few resources available given their precarious location, is this really feasible? can they possibly escape the desert before the ruthless nomads discover and try to put an end to them? you'll have to watch the movie to find out.
- More info., Thoughts & Opinions -
This is a tense drama, with an interesting variety of characters, including a Scottish and an English one. There's a plot twist uncovered towards the end of the movie which really puts a new spin on the story, putting alot into question. There are some pretty good landscape shots/cinematography present, again mainly but not entirely at the end. This movie is a bit like the TV show Lost or the novel Lord of the Flies, with conflicts arising between different characters who decide to label themselves as 'top dog' and with the action of others potentially endangering the whole group. There's definitely a conflict of personality, some characters seeming to be happy to pitch in and others much less so.
As a movie, I was quite impressed with it as I hadn't expected much from it to be totally honest, it seemed to me to be a pretty bog standard action/drama movie but I felt quite engrossed by the story and seeing what happened with the threat of nomads sabotaging their only real hope to get to safety.
As much as this is a tense movie, there are some lighter scenes, with some funny dialogue inbetween. I felt that overall this was quite a good movie, though not without its flaws, such as the fact that it seemed a bit unlikely that they'd happen to have everything needed to attempt to re-build the plane and that someone knew (or claimed) to know enough expertise to guide them to do that. Also the ending, well I don't want to give it away too much as it'd be wrong to say that everyone lived happily after but equally, it was perhaps a bit too Hollywood, particularly the way it was driven home via the credits. The story isn't as simple as you may think but the ending will (or has) probably divide opinion, I think its fair to say.
I thought that the performances were all good and I also specifically noticed the soundtrack in this movie, with one or two songs really adding to the tension as they played during certain scenes. In that sense, its quite a well thought out movie. As mentioned earlier, this is a remake of the 1965 movie of the same name. From what I've read/heard, there's very little in way of differences between the two movies except the characters names and actors involved, of course. Having seen the movie posters for both, its eery how similar two of the characters in this remake (Frank Towns played by Dennis Quaid and Elliott played by Giovanni Ribisi) look compared to the characters in the original movie (again Frank Towns played by James Stewart and Lew Moran played by Richard Attenborough) - maybe thats just me though(?).
- Would I Recommend It? -
Yes, I'd recommend this movie as it turned out to be better than I'd first expected. The story doesn't drag too much, the variety of characters are good, its quite tense and thrilling in places, although I couldn't help but question how believable it was that they had all the right equipment/resources to make the new airplane - for instance the rigging and so on...thus the plot is slightly flawed but otherwise as an entertaining movie, its worth a watch in my opinion.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks for all rates and comments. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
FILM ONLY REVIEW
When an oil field in Mongolia gets shut down the workers all have to leave. They are being flown out by Captain Frank Towns but disaster strikes the plane when a massive storm breaks. The plane gets damaged and has to make an emergency landing but they are now stranded with their smashed up plane somewhere in the Mongolian desert.
Captain Towns takes charge and sorts out the supplies which they discover will last 30 days so they all sit and await being rescued but when there is no sign of this the stranded passengers have to think of another way of getting out of the desert. It is a suggestion by Elliott which sparks the passenger to come and work together to build a new plane out of the damaged parts of the old one. Will they be able to build a new plane and work together or will the heat and lack of food play a big part and what dangers does the desert hold for the stranded and lost people?
This again was not my choice of film and I have to say I was not overly impressed by it. The storyline started off good but it for me got so unbelievable when they started building the new plane. How are these passengers supposed to know so much about plane building and it was always amazed how they had the parts and tools they always needed to get the work done.
The acting was not too bad, the role of Captain Towns was played by Dennis Quaid and he did a decent job but I would have liked to have got to know a bit about him and maybe found out why he was so reserved and down all of the time. He had an awkward chemistry with all of the other cast members and they just did not seem to be able to connect. Other cast member included Hugh Laurie and he was a small part of the cast and quite quiet in the film, I would have liked him to have been more forward and more outspoken towards the other people and maybe this would have got him a slightly more noticeable role. The role of Elliott was quite a strange on, he was played by Giovanni Ribisi, it drove me mad trying to work out where I knew him from but I soon found out he was the brother of Phoebe in Friends. He was a mysterious man and never gave too much away. I thought it was daft how he knew so much about planes but towards the end of the film we learnt why. He had a German look to his character and hubby said that in the original film he was actually a German prisoner of war and so they played on this with his character.
Other actors included Tyrese Gibson, Miranda Otto and Jacob Vargas but none of the role were really stand out and they all seemed to blend into one. I think I would have liked more variety with the characters so we got more personalities as this would have helped with the storyline.
The film was shot out in the desert and we did actually get some amazing views. I though the sets and scenery were the best part of the film and I liked how this was shown. The effects were all very good and especially the storm which hit the desert. They were well made and looked very realistic. I did think the plane crash scenes were also very well made. The costumes and props were all good too. The music was not overly good and none of the tracks really stood out for me but the dramatic music worked well and added to the tension of the scenes in which it was used.
As this is a film only review there are non bonus features to mention. The running time of the film is 113 minutes and I found this was quite long enough and the certificate is a 12A. The DVD can be bought for just a few pounds but I would say to try and catch this for free on the TV instead.
Overall I cannot recommend this film as it was too farfetched for me but it does have some lovely scenery. Watch if you can for free but certainly don't spend money on this film.
Never before have I seen a cast of great actors in such a rubbish movie, ever!
Plot... The film follows a group of oil riggers who are being flown home from a closed down rig. The plane crashes and the team must do everything to stay alive. Things become tense when two of their comrades wonder off into the harshness of the Mongolian Desert. They decide to build another plane from the old one so that they can fly out of the desert back to civilisation.
So anyway I was going on about the great actors in this film including Dennis Quaid (featuring in Vantage Point and The Day After Tomorrow) and Hugh Laurie (House and Stuart Little). Both of them are very good actors but to be fair to Hugh Laurie the other films he appears in haven't been all that good; for Dennis Quaid it is the complete opposite with all of the films he appears in being very very good.
And so we go onto why this is such a rubbish film, well bar the two top-name actors the rest of the cast is very poor, the special effects are few and far between and the ones that do appear in the film aren't exactly worthy of a Bluray release i.e. they're rubbish. We've got a really crap story line and a predictable Hollywood ending, there are a lot of characters dropping like flies in the first half hour and to top it all sum really appalling action fighting scenes. All of this is topped off by the one character you want dead, Elliot (Giovanni Ribisi) who is such a detestable person in the film.
Overall I couldn't recommend this at all; the cast is good it's just a shame about the storyline and general lack of any action in this film.
I rented this film because I thoroughly enjoyed watching the original. I noticed they had tried to create a cast that is similiar to the original too, which admittedly lured me in even more. Oh and Hugh Laurie.
Unfortunately this filmed lacked substance. Infact, it had absolutely no 'battle of survival' whatsoever. Water rationing was mentioned several times, yet it just seemed to fade out and there was no effort made to highlight their thirst or how much water was left and how dire their situation was becoming. Also in the original, it showed the survivors blistering from the heat and really showing their true pain in such harsh conditions. Here? Not much at all. Once or twice you would see them sweating and desperate for water, then, at one point, one of them says it's cold and they should get them inside the plane. How that even makes sense I have no idea. Sweating and having the sun blast your body.. and then be told infact.. it's cold outside.
This filmed seemed to remove 89% of content. Even when they were rushing inside because of sand storms, there was no sense of danger or that any of them would perish. The plane was built too easily and too quickly. It felt like the film started and finished within 5 seconds.
This is a great film directed by John Moore the cast include Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Giovanni Ribisi, Hugh Laurie, there are also allot of cast members you may not recognise. This film is about a plane that gets caught up in a storm and ends up crashing in the Mongolian dessert, the survivors on the plane know they will not be rescued so they come up with a plan to build a plane from the wreckage of the old plane, whilst doing so many different problems are thrown their way along with the killer dessert smugglers. Is building a new plane possible? Will they be able to do it?
This film is one of my favourite and is very much liked it is well worth a watch, you may not be gripping your seat with excitement but you will always wonder whether there plan will work or not.
I have seen this DVD for as little as £3 in some shops and online stores such as HMV.
Flight of the Phoenix is a 2004 remake of the 1965 film of the same name starring James Stewart and Richard Attenborough. It isa disaster movie about survival and teamwork, and is a solid remake of a very good film.
Following the crash of a plane in the Mongolian desert, the survivors must work together and struggle in the conditions facing them in a race against time to find a way out of their predicament. Each and every hour they use up, their resources reduce, and they come closer to starvation, dehydration and madness. This quirky bunch of characters must combine their skills to survive, and the only way out seems the most infeasible: rebuilding a plane from the remains of the crashed one!
The Cast and Performances
This is a cast full of names. All characters have something that is useful to their survival or escape. Dennis Quaid plays Frank Towns, who quickly takes control of the group and sets about finding a way of fixing the plane and escaping the desert. Giovanni Ribisi plays the mysterious Elliott, who seems to know a great deal about the construction of planes, but is cagey about how and why.Turese Gibson, Miranda Otto and Hugh Laurie are also part of a cast of survivors. All actors perform well, although nothing is particularly outstanding in terms of acting.
This is a well made film, and the emotions and effects of the environmental conditions on the survivors all combine well. The setting is beautiful, and the atmosphere the film provides is done very well. Director John Moore has done well here. However, the film doesn't really take off too well with me (no pun intended) and thus I found myself at the end quite glad that what was a nice film was finally at an end. Its 108 minutes seemed a lot longer. It was rather dull and dreary for the majority of the film.
A well made film, though rather drags at points.
I rate this film at 3 stars out of 5.
The DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £4.97 new.
This review may also be posted on dooyoo.co.uk
Thanks for reading.
In Egyptian mythology, the Phoenix was a bird destroyed in the ashes, which then miraculously rose again. This well known story is reflected in Flight of the Phoenix as recovery from disaster against all odds - in terms of perseverence & determination - when all hope is extinguished the human spirit may still be reborn.
I really liked this film, because it gave me a lot to think about. They always say the most important thing about a good film is that you care about the characters, and in this film, you really will. It is an intelligent film, so not the sort to sit back & watch without much thought. It does have some good humour and some dramatic scenes. There is not too much gore, but its fair share of violent scenes, although at times little is actually visible of what is going on or the scene changes too quickly to take in the image.
A plane carrying returning redundent workers crashes in the middle of a scorching desert in Mongolia. One man falls from the plane & two people are killed instantly. Those two are buried as soon as the passengers are able to leave the plane, which takes a while because they must wait for a deadly sandstorm to end. The surviving passengers and pilot (Dennis Quaid) are left stranded with very little water. They must ration their water for as long as possible until help arrives, which could be a long time & the pilot suggests there is only a 5% chance it will happen.Then a passenger, not well-known to any of the group, suggests they can put their talents together & use the surviving parts of their plane to build a new one & find their own way out. He tells them he designs planes & it is perfectly possible. Of course the energy invested into building the plane, plus the heat, would mean they all need more water & therefore their supplies would run out faster. This makes the pilot dismiss the idea. However, if they do nothing & wait for rescue, since no one knows they are out there they may never be found & simply end up dying out there. Either way they risk losing their lives, but what should they do?
Indecision sets in, with the captain wanting to hold out & others determined to find a way out rather than stay & perish. Even once they persuade him to give the idea a chance, they all know they are taking a huge gamble with no turning back. They suffer sand storms, disappearances, threats from Nomads & bitter fights as they start work on the new plane, which is, appropriately perhaps, named 'Phoenix'.
The desert provides a scenic but harsh atmosphere & although there is very little to see on the surface, as the film progresses, it becomes a minefield of obstacles in the way of their survival. The graphics are simple, realistic & well fitted to the film. As I sort of mentioned before, the visibility is not too good during the more violent scenes, which I suppose provides the effect of how it would feel to be part of a group that is being hunted by a mystery creature/person. However, at times it can be pretty frustrating, because you really do not know what is happening.
This has been made with good judgement, including some very 'Arabian' style music - sorry for being vague - which I really like, as well as strong beats to emphasise the survival situation. At one point we see the group decide to switch on a radio with the few batteries they have & on comes Outkast - Heya. Suddenly they all get up & start dancing about. Whilst this is quite a ridiculous scene - come on, you're working your guts off in a deadly hot desert with a miniscule amount of water compared to what your body needs, even if you really had the energy to dance, common sense would tell you to save it for speeding up building the plane. This is, however, a movie not intended to depress or be particularly realistic, so in order for the audience not to get bored & walk away I think it is a reasonable diversion from reality & a break for the characters from being victims of a plane crash.
Apart from their initial departure from the base, the film consists of all the main characters being placed in the middle of nowhere, so the interaction between each character becomes key element of the film. The captain, played by Dennis Quaid, can be regarded as the hero, although really there is no specific hero in this film.
Some characters provide humour to lighten up the film generally, whilst others play more intense roles. I have now seen this film twice. The first time I saw it, the characters were not individually memorable, but as a group, made a wonderful overall film. The second viewing gave me a chance to really appeciate them individually. This is not the kind of film that can be seen only once, however, the suspense element is naturally reduced once you know what will happen. Second time, I still felt I was getting to know & care about the characters which, in my opinion is a very good thing.
The only real flaw in the acting for me was that these are supposed to be people labouring away in intensely dangerous, hot conditions, yet as a viewer you simply cannot believe that is the case. They all seem to cope with each incident or task as though it were happening in England or somewhere cool with 'all mod cons' despite the fact they are ordinary workers thrown into this situation for the first time ever. The idea of surviving is certainly not implausible, but the idea that all the trauma, heat, exhaustion & hunger/thirst can be easily overcome - for me, is.
I first watched this when I was 21 & was able to appreciate it. I think 12 is a fair minimum age for this film & that as long as you are old enough to watch it you will be able to enjoy this kind of film. It is quite decent & as I mentioned above the film moves quite fast so that it can't really scare you. It's also nice to see that a film can be exciting without actually encouraging violence.
This film makes you appreciate the basics in life & our natural need to have something hopeful to look forward too. It also reminds you of what it is to be human. When strangers have no choice but to work together to survive it creates a strong bond between them, which was nicely shown in this film, without compromising on being realistic. There is some humour but generally this film is more of a drama - the type of film that draws your interest in & makes you think. Basically, it is entertaining, but has its serious side. Its the kind of film you won't forget. Well worth watching, whether its a rainy day or a dvd date.
I seem to be watching an awful lot of films at the moment and the most part they are turning out to be awful movies. The latest to join that list is the recent Dennis Quaid release, Flight Of The Phoenix. I'd seen a few clips and trailers for it and thought it might be worth watching to see how it turned out. I didn't have too high hopes as I sat down to watch it and that was probably just as well. The cast looked quite impressive but could the film actually deliver?
When he's sent to close down an oil rig in the middle of the Mongolian desert, Captain Frank Towns (Dennis Quaid) thinks it'll be an easy in and out job. For the most part it is and it's not till they are on the way home they start to experience problems. He tries to take the plane over the top of the storm but it appears to be too heavy. Very soon the propeller flies off and the planes heading for a crash landing somewhere in the desert. To make matters worse the aerial to the radio snaps off before they can get a distress call away.
As they go down 2 of the passengers are killed and the back of the plane ripped off before they come to a halt in the sand. The first few days see them sitting around waiting to be rescued and slowly people start to disappear. Then they decide the only hope they have is to re build the plane with the help of Elliott (Giovanni Ribisi), a plane designer from the states. The only question is can they do it before they run out of water? Or will someone turn up to safe them? Well that's a question that can only be answered by watching the film.
The film had some redeeming points, well one anyway. It's hard to gauge an accurate genre for the movie but I'd say it falls loosely into the Action Adventure genre. It's apparently a remake of an old 1965 film, but not having seen the original I can't comment on how it compares. As a film in its own right it does nothing to inspire the viewer into really enjoying it. The story is a good concept but the execution of the ideas never really seems to pay off. It lasts just under 2 hours, but I couldn't help feeling there was about 30 minutes of padding that could have been cut. If the film had been shorter it may have been more enjoyable rather than plain boring.
The slight hope I had originally for the film emulated from the director. I'd seen and enjoyed Behind Enemy Lines, also by director John Moore and so I thought this would fit into the same category. It's a shame really that rather than being an enjoyable film, Flight Of The Phoenix is in the most part a complete waste of time. It's a real disappointment as Moore liked up with Minority Report writer Scott Frank for this one. The script fails to ever really excel or hold your attention for its entirety. This is the biggest flaw of all and makes it even more worthless.
It does have one redeeming feature and that is Giovanni Ribisi. He's crested a whole new persona for the role of Elliott that works fantastically. He gives an amazing performance that brings a bit of life to the film. It's too hard for one man to safe a film; in fact it was probably only Ribisi's performance that actually kept me awake for the 2 hours. The rest of the cast were pretty dire. Dennis Quaid has tried to adopt a Harrison Ford in Star Wars kind of style for his character and fails miserably. The lead character seemed to have an air of arrogance about him that Quaid couldn't quite pull off.
My biggest disappointment was with Hugh Laurie. When I saw his name on the cast list I at least expected to laugh a couple of times. Like the majority of the cast though he never really got going. This wasn't helped by the rather flat feeling his character portrayed. I felt that a few of the characters could have been developed a lot better and instead the time was used with needless filling. With a good cast it seems a total waste that only one of them really stood out and in the end it was too much for Ribisi on his own.
Overall this is probably one of the biggest wastes of time and money I've seen. At last count it had cost 45 million to make and only taken 25 million in Box office and rental takings. It is a movie with no real purpose, that's only saving grace is one great performance and a decent soundtrack. If you really feel this is a film you might enjoy then I recommend you wait till it's on Tele rather than shelling out hard earned money to see it. I can't recommend this film at all, not even for Ribisi's performance, as good as it is it doesn't justify wasting 2 hours on this.
A group of air crash survivors are stranded in the Mongolian desert with no chance of rescue. Facing a brutal environment, dwindling resources, and an attack by desert smugglers, they realize their only hope is doing the impossible... building a new plane from the wreckage of the old one.