Since this is a Wes Craven film you would probably expect it to be your typical slasher/horror film. It’s not at all; instead it’s a thriller. However, Wes was able to make good use of the skills he has developed in that genre. Most notably, how to build suspense and create tension. The story is well paced and you get so caught up in it that the time just flies by while watching this movie.
While on a flight to Miami, Lisa (Rachael McAdams) is forced into becoming involved in an assassination plot. Throughout the flight she tries to find a way to get herself out of this predicament. A good portion of the film takes place in an airplane, mainly focusing on two characters. There is an incredible building of tension as the movie progresses and a claustrophobic feel of being trapped on the airplane. The casting of the two main characters is perfect.
Cillian Murphy (Jackson Rippner) is an amazing actor. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be as well known in the United States, since he hasn’t done very many American films. He is probably best known for playing Dr. Crane/Scarecrow in “Batman Begins”. Cillian can play sweet and charming just as easily as scary and intimidating (and he can instantly switch between them). Of course you can’t talk about him without mentioning his incredible eyes. You can’t help but be drawn to them. Not only are they very expressive, they are also gorgeous.
It was important that the person that played Lisa could believably express a wide range of emotions. Since the character’s journey throughout the movie has many ups and downs. Rachel McAdams was definitely able to fulfil that requirement. She is able to portray vulnerability and strength, as well as, all the subtle emotions in between.
Ok, a couple of things just have to be said. First off, “Fresh Air” is just a silly name for an airline. Secondly, why do movies always insist on having women run in high heels, which inevitably leads to them falling down.
Some of my favorite quotes:
Lisa – “My grandmother died.”
Jackson – “Oh”
Lisa – “No, that’s ok, she was 91.”
Jackson – “91 that’s respectable, what was her secret?”
Lisa – “Grapenuts and a guy named Duke.”
Jackson – “Wait a minute, you’re not stalking me are you?”
Rebecca – “But a lady’s in there too.”
Flight Attendant – “Ok … one of those flights.”
Jackson – “Well thanks for the quickie.”
Flight Attendant – “Excuse me, this isn’t a motel.”
Jackson – “Sure.” (Said with a wink and smile.)
Teen – “Well there goes your pen dude.”
Cynthia – “I think we had a really good night, all things considered. Just that one incident really.”
Lisa – “Well, here’s what you can do. You can fill out a comment card at our front desk.”
Irate Guest – “You want us to fill out a comment card!”
Lisa – “And after you are finished you can go ahead and just shove it up your a$$.”
Cynthia – “You are so my hero.”
Wes wanted Cillian for the part of Jackson, but was concerned about his Irish accent (Jackson was written specifically to be American). Cillian really wanted the part so he hopped on a plane from England just to meet Wes for lunch and to convince him that he could do the part. By the end of lunch he had convinced Wes that he could learn to do an American accent before they began filming.
Be sure to check out the extras, lot’s of interesting info. Plus you get to hear Cillian’s real accent, which I personally can’t get enough of (he’s Irish you know … yes, I admit it I have a thing for Irish accents).
The woman playing the irate guest at the beginning of the movie is actually Terry Press, the head of marketing for Dreamworks. Apparently, Wes saw her in a meeting and just knew she should play that character.
Colby Donaldson plays Keefe’s head security guard. He came in second place on “Survivor – The Australian Outback”.
Following is additional information about the movie that contains spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled don’t read any further.
I love the shot where the camera moves down the aisle towards Jackson and Lisa’s row. It really draws you towards them and heightens the anticipation. The way that Jackson is lit is fabulous, it’s very foreshadowing.
Oh, when Jackson head-butted Lisa it made me jump. It was so sudden and unexpected.
The scene in the bathroom is incredibly intense. Jackson’s rage is frightening and you just don’t know how far he will go. Then to watch Lisa as she just gives up towards the end of the scene is just heart breaking.
Cillian’s performance during the scene where he says “if somebody wants to send a big, brash message … that’s their business. I do my part and move on” is just amazing. It’s so subtle but you can see that at times his job does get to him. The way he can’t look Lisa in the eye while he says it and his eyes get a bit misty.
I know he’s the bad guy, but yikes! A pen stuck in his neck and then a high heel stuck in his thigh (I always knew high heels were bloody dangerous). It just makes me cringe and feel just a little bit sorry for him.