And You Thought Sitting Next to a Crying Baby Was Bad...

Columbus Alive | August 18, 2005
This DreamWorks thriller may not be the best movie of the summer, but it’s certainly the luckiest. In April, Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy were just another pair of pretty faces slowly climbing up the Hollywood ladder. Now Red Eye has been released after the former was the female lead in one of the biggest hits of the summer, Wedding Crashers, and the latter was the villain in another, Batman Begins.

And with almost a decade of disappointments following the first Scream movie, God knows director Wes Craven’s name isn’t going to inspire ticket sales. His years of working in horror have definitely prepped him for drawing scared and scary emotions from his leads, though. This is the sort of pot-boiling thriller he could direct in his sleep, and, from the looks of the last act, I think he might have directed it in his sleep.

It’s a shame that trailers so thoroughly reveal plots these days, because if you didn’t already know that Murphy plays a charming psychopath who secretly kidnaps McAdams on a crowded flight and threatens to kill her father if she doesn’t cooperate with some political plot, you might think you were watching a romantic comedy. After a series of meet-cutes at an airport populated with annoying characters, Murphy reveals himself through several strange statements, each accompanied by an ominous boom of Marco Beltrami’s twisty score.

The scenes on the plane are a nice showcase for Murphy and McAdams’ actorly chops, and have a claustrophobic feel, capitalizing on both post-9/11 paranoia and inconvenience. Once the plane lands, though, the film starts to crash and burn. The leaps in logic get less and less plausible, and what began as a rom-com cocktease before becoming a taut and scary character piece turns into a hokey Home Alone homage.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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