DVD Review - Flight 7500

Some might recognize director Takashi Shimizu as the director of the Japanese horror film The Grudge (2004). If anyone likes his sensibilities or aesthetics, then you might find resonance in this movie. Sadly, it's not scary. It's not all that thrilling or engaging. It has the thinnest and the shallowest of characters that you don't care about, which is not due to the actors, but it is due to the writing from Craig Rosenberg who attempts to concoct an ode or homage to The Twilight Zone, specifically the episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" but stretched to feature-length. Yet, Rosenberg doesn't give us nearly enough material to fill even an hour. He then tries a M. Night Shyamalan-style ending, but this doesn't have nearly the kind of craft or depth of even Shyamalan's worst films.

The movie opens with a tense moment on an airplane, a moment that seems designed to obfuscate. Rosenberg used to be a writer on the TV series Lost, so crafting a mystery around people on a plane is experience he's had. Yet, the intelligent storytelling on Lost is totally lost here. For starters, the characters seem like caricatures rather than real people. You don't even really learn their names or much about them, thankfully there's IMDB.

Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) stars as Brad Martin, a paramedic who is taking a trip from Los Angeles to Tokyo with his wife, Pia Martin, played by Amy Smart. It's not like a honeymoon. Apparently, the two are only doing it for show. They're really about to separate or divorce. There's no talk or discussion as to why or what happened.

Leslie Bibb (Talladega Nights and Iron Man) co-stars as Laura Baxter, the flight attendant who is the leader of the plane crew. She's having an affair with the pilot of the plane, Captain Haining, played by Johnathan Schaech. He doesn't seem to have any plans to leave his wife, and Laura feels a little conflicted about it.

Jerry Ferrara (Entourage) also co-stars as Rick, a newlywed who is married to a woman that can't stop talking. She's a bit of a busybody and a germophobe who is very uptight and annoying. That's all we get. The movie gives us nothing else. If this were an episode of Lost, we would get flashbacks that delve into Rick's life prior to getting on this plane.

We can be critical of Rosenberg copying that TV show's tactics, but given the premise, it's a good way of having us care about these characters. Without any flashbacks or additional context, we don't care about these people and whether they live or die.

Lack of character development could be forgiven, if the J-horror aspect were a little more terrifying. Unfortunately, that aspect isn't. It's actually a bit lame. It involves a Japanese legend called Shinigami, which is basically a toy, known as the "death doll." It again puts Kwanten in another movie opposite a creepy doll after Dead Silence (2007). Yet, the movie does nothing with it. It's almost a red herring. It has no bearing at all.

The Liam Neeson film Non-Stop (2014) is a more mysterious and more thrilling film than this one. This film is essentially half-baked. It's not fleshed out. Kwanten is such a hot, talented actor. It's good to see him. I just wish he were better used. A better thriller with Kwanten is Red Hill (2010).

This movie was shot in 2012 and it was only screened theatrically overseas in select, foreign countries in 2014. It finally came to DVD on April 12 of this year.

One Star out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, some scary images and brief language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 19 mins.


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