Monday, March 16, 2009

Movie Journal: Red Eye

Here is a film that, chances are, you've heard about at some point, even though you've probably never seen any trailers, posters, or ads for it. Red Eye is in many ways an underrated film, and mostly because people tend to expect it to be something other than what it is: a short, humble yet superbly acted thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.

Red Eye was released just a month before the thriller Flightplan, which bears many resemblances but is far more remarkable. Rachel McAdams stars as a hotel manager whose father is held ransom in order for her seatmate(Cillian Murphy of Batman Begins fame) to persuade her to adjust which room the senator is to stay in. The course of this conversation takes place aboard an in-flight airplane, and takes up a good majority of the film.

Don't get the wrong idea: Red Eye is every bit the sum of it's parts and more, which include rich, character-oriented dialogue and remarkable acting. Since when can you watch two people sit and talk for minutes at a time and be entertained? Not so often, these days. Usually the filmmakers have to introduce some kind of new element to keep things rolling before people start spacing out. Which is interesting because Red Eye throws little plot twists or surprises to speak of, but I assure you that if it had run much longer than it did my head would have exploded of overstimulation as it is.

Why this movie has such a low average viewer rating on most movie sites is beyond me, because it's truly great. Red Eye is a gripping, intelligent, and worthwhile thriller that deserves at least some of your attention. You will be entertained.

8 out of 10

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