Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Movie Review: 'Flight of the Phoenix'

In the middle of the movie Flight of the Phoenix one of the characters says, 'Religion divides; believing in a common cause unites' (paraphrase). Taking the movie as a metaphor for this assertion raises this entertainment to an interesting level. A cargo plane on a routine return flight after shutting down an oil rig in the Mongolian desert crashes. The only solution to survival seems to be to follow the directions of an eccentric passenger who has the skills to build a new plane out of the wreckage of the old one. In the process, they have to deal with their relationships which threaten to undermine everything they do. Watched thoughtfully, the film raises issues of religion, hope, and despair. A joke told by one of the characters is particularly thought-provoking from a Christian perspective:
Let me tell you a story. A rabbi and a priest attend a boxing match. They watch as the boxers come into the ring. The rabbi sees one of the boxers cross himself. So the rabbi turns to the priest and asks, 'What does that mean?' The priest says, 'Not a damn thing if the man can't fight.'
Flight of the Phoenix is an entertaining adventure film that is sure to please the crowds. My Rating: ***1/2 (out of 5) Best Review This is high-carb filmmaking at its finest. When it's all over, you'll have a knot in your stomach. - Michael O'Sullivan/Washington Post Worst Review A moth-eaten stranded-in-the-desert yarn that throws in every cheap trick in the manual to pump up your heartbeat, is so manipulative that the involuntary jolts of adrenaline it produces make you feel like a fool. - Stephen Holden/New York Times Content Warning some language, action and violence Related Links

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