Flightplan (2005)

14.

★★★

Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Written by: Peter A. Dowling, Billy Ray
Starring: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean

If losing your child in a shopping mall is a distressing situation, losing your child on a flight will drive you mad. Having just lost a husband, Kyle Pratt (Foster) is bringing his body back to New York with her daughter on a plane she knows better than anyone else on board, being the aeronautical engineer. Ironically enough, Kyle wakes up to a missing daughter and a major shock to her nerves when the passengers and flight attendants claim they never saw the child come on the flight. 

Goodbye sanity…

After 9/11, the airplane aisles haven’t been a top choice for suspense thrillers (Snakes on a Plane being an exception). Flightplan, however, navigates Kyle’s paranoia up and down aisles, into the galleys and the darker spaces of the plane with smooth suspense, whilst simultaneously giving off an old-fashioned mystery feel considering the impossible nature of the whole situation. Thanks to the convincing performances delivered by the cast, Flightplan seems crazy enough to work. And without so much as a bump or a turbulent moment that significantly shocks us, Flightplan is able to ride out its central concept as its simplicity and yet, completely bizarre quality is compelling enough for us to watch through the end. 
Unfortunately, it is precisely the ending and the resolution of the mystery that disappoints. Once the mystery of the missing child is out in the open, the film relies on more conventional methods of excitement to see it through and we come to realize that there are some serious holes in the plot. Nevertheless, Flightplan is enjoyable with an in-flight meal and an appreciation for Jodie Foster’s expert facial expressions (no doubt mastered from her Silence of the Lambs and Panic Room days.
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