Friday, March 03, 2006

Red Eye

Title: Red Eye (2005)
Dir: Wes Craven
Tagline: Fear Takes Flight.
Rating: *** out of 5 stars

Plot rundown: On an overnight flight to Miami, hotel manager Lisa (Rachel McAdams) meets a charming stranger (Cillian Murphy), who eventually reveals that he is part of an assassination plot. Having kidnapped her father, he tells Lisa she must help in the assassination (by moving the target to a different room in her hotel) or her father will die. So she tries her best to escape the situation without getting anyone killed.

Both the leads actor are good, I've always liked each of them. Murphy makes a great bad guy, and while I don't want him to get typcast, I hope he takes more roles like this (and Scarecrow). McAdams makes a realistic business woman/daddy's girl, so she has just the right combination of feminine strength and brains + girlish vulnerability.

It's not a return to form for Wes Craven (ie, Last House on the Left, Nightmare on Elm Street) but considering his recent failures, Red Eye is a big step up. At least he hasn't lost his mind and talent completely (oh, John Carpenter). It's probably his best film since Scream, although not as good. It does have a good bit of tension though, partly because of the plane. The director takes a cue from Hitchcock, buiding tension with claustrophobia and viewers' natural fear of flying.

The second half of the movie takes place in Miami (not the plane), where Craven switches into Scream gear, with Lisa running and hiding from a killer in her house. Still it works, if only as fleeting entertainment. It's nothing profound, but the tension and the actors bring together a good popcorn flick.

However, I would not recommend Red Eye as an in-flight movie...that's just cruel.