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Red Eye (PG-13)

RED EYE (Rated PG-13) Release Date: August 19th, 2005 by Dreamworks Pictures.
The Cast: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays.
Directed by Wes Craven.

BASIC PREMISE: On a plane, Lisa (McAdams), a hotel manager, meets Jackson (Murphy, a hit man who forces her to help him assassinate a wealthy businessman.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Rachel McAdams shines in this very taut, claustrophobic thriller. She has the right balance of hysteria, toughness, and, above all, she is very likeable. The plot begins with a quick foreshadow and then becomes what seems like a potential romance between Lisa and Jackson as they flirt with one another. There is even some humor in the first 10 minutes. However, once the plane takes off with the two sitting together, the movie takes off as well. In a sudden twist of personality, Jackson becomes a hit man who pressures Lisa to use her power to change the hotel room number of a wealthy businessman in order to have him assassinated---or else Jackson will have her father murdered. What makes this film a lot of fun is that Lisa is much smarter and even braver than Jackson. It's very nerve-racking to watch her try to warn others on the plane about him--she tries writing it in a book and on a bathroom mirror, but, predictably, she fails when he finds out. There's a funny scene when they come out of the bathroom after a brawl and the flight attendants think that they were having sex. Thanks to some turbulence and a few distractions from passengers who need help from Jackson, Lisa is given some time to find a way out of her big crisis. Once the plane lands, she takes her problem, literally, into her own hands. What happens after that is a very silly cat-and-mouse chase that is very hard to believe---she manages to escape airport security and steal somebody's car! There is a little suspense as they both chase each other at her father's house. Those scenes are well-directed by Craven, as Lisa tries to find where in the house Jackson might be hiding--it's like a horror scene straight from the movie Scream. The dialogue during these scenes is poorly-written, with a few unintentionally funny moments. Too bad what starts off as a suspenseful thriller because too silly and contrived to be believable. Also, Jackson is not clever enough to be effectively threatening.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The basic message is that you have to be careful who you trust. Also, it is important to have confidence and to be brave no matter what situation you are in.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: There are three basic problems with the plot. One is despite that Lisa and Jackson talk well above whisper level on the plane, nobody is able to hear them at all--even when Jackson threatens her father's life. Two is when Jackson gets his neck punctured, he is able to function normally--he can run fast past security and, somehow, drive all the way to the house where Lisa's father is. Three is that after a missile is projected into the top of the hotel, nobody is injured despite that the explosion extended to many other rooms. Thankfully, this is just a movie because in real life very little of what happens in this movie could actually occur--especially given the tough airport security.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A suspenseful and promising first and second act leads to a preposterous second act filled with plot-holes, poorly-written dialogue, and a contrived ending. Wes Craven should stick to horror films.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)

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