257 – Red Eye

Do what I say or your (dad, brother, son, whole darn family) gets it, says the evil killer, who’s usually male and quite insecure with himself otherwise. In this film, purportedly by one-time horror great Wes Craven, pretty hotel manager Lisa (Rachel McAdams) is the victim-protagonist, the tough woman-in-jeopardy who must do what one must do to save her pa (Brian Cox) and the director of Homeland Security (wha?), while some 30,000 feet in the air, from smarmy dweeb Jackson (Cillian Murphy).

This preposterous movie is nothing more than your typical damsel-in-distress plot, except it’s set almost exclusively on a plane, where the limitations of the storyline, the acting, and especially the directing are painfully obvious. This red eye could use a real shot of Visine, or maybe just an eyepatch.

There really isn’t much more to say about the movie, which is thankfully short. If you think there might be a serious question as to whether she’ll save her pappy from the long gun of the assassin, this is the movie for you. You probably won’t even wonder at the stupidity of all involved, or even the perfunctory, underwhelming thanks shown at the end for a job well done. You might not even mind that a hotel manager was able to save the world from a greater evil pretty much all by her lonesome, without needing to cave in and call real professionals.

McAdams gives it a good try, but she just can’t carry the film herself, and the burden of also having to put up with a crappy script is too much. Murphy makes for a dopey, cardboard villian – maybe he should stick to playing henchmen – and Cox is solid as always. Still, one expects a little oomph from a Craven film, some style, something, but this one’s utterly faceless.

Red Eye: *1/2


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