is a 2005 thriller film directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Jodie Foster
Foster plays Kyle Pratt, an airplane propulsion engineer whose husband has mysteriously died from falling off the top of a building. She and her six-year-old daughter, Julia (Marlene Lawston), are now heading back to Long Island from Berlin aboard the massive new passenger plane she helped design, the Elgin 474. The body of her husband is in the hold.
Three hours into the flight the two take a nap; when Kyle wakes up, Julia has disappeared without a trace. Everyone on board the plane, including air marshal Gene Carson (Peter Sarsgaard), flight attendant Stephanie (Kate Beahan) and Captain Marcus Rich (Sean Bean
) insist that they never saw her daughter, and that her name is not even listed on the flight's manifest
. And that's when things get crazy.
Critical reception was mixed to negative. While the performances of the principal cast are praised; the plot is often criticized as being riddled with holes
and Fridge Logic
Not to be confused with Japanese video game developer Flight-Plan
This film provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: In the SKY!
- Apathetic Citizens: Lots of people did see Julia running around the cabin. But after her mother raised a fuss and got the airplane redirected, the assholes cheered at seeing her dragged back to her seat in handcuffs by Carson, the bastard who kidnapped her.
Carson: We picked her up, shoved her into a food bin and nobody even looked up. You understand what I'm saying? Nobody cares about Julia!
- Death in the Clouds
- Batman Gambit: Pulled on every passenger except Kyle. All Carson had to do was sucker Kyle into pissing off the Apathetic Citizens, and they took everything he said as gospel truth since that meant they had someone to blame for the inconvenience. Even if Kyle was perfectly calm despite her daughter disappearing into thin air, that would simply creep the passengers out even more. Yeah, the movie's not that far-fetched.
Carson: People will think what I tell them to think. That's how authority works.
- Gas Lighting: Much of the action involves the villains trying to convince Kyle, and by extension the rest of the passengers and crew, that she's suffered a break from reality. Subverted in that it's much more effective on the witnesses than the target.
- Mama Bear: Kyle. So, so much.
- YMMV but she may even go into Knight Templar Parent territory. Her actions potentially put hundreds of lives at risk and she accuses passengers of terrorism (seemingly just on the grounds of them being/looking Arabic) but hey, she's a mommy, so it's OK. One of the Arabic guys even apologises to her at the end! Granted, she does end up foiling a terrorist plot and saving the day, but that's coincidental. As far as she's concerned for most of the movie, it's just her daughter who's in danger, not the entire plane.
- Playing Against Type: Sean Bean.
- Plot Hole: Loads. For example; in order to calm her down and get her to accept that she was delusional and that her daughter actually had died along with her husband; why didn't they verify that there were two caskets not one in the hold?
- Red Herring: We are led to believe the Arabs aboard are terrorists who kidnapped Julia as a hostage. In the end, it turns out they're not involved at all. Additionally, the pilot is played by Sean Bean, who has a history of playing villains. He isn't involved at all either.
- The Bad Guys Are Cops: The big twist.
- Unnecessarily Large Interior: The plane is shown to have enough empty and unused space for Kyle to play Metal Gear Solid with the entire airplane staff.
- Unperson: Julia.
- We All Live in America: FBI-agents in Goose Bay? Um, don't think so.
- Western Terrorists: Gene and Stephanie.
- A Wizard Did It: The film comes within seconds of a Downer Ending because...
- Xanatos Roulette: Gene had to
- Get Kyle's husband onto the roof of a building, push him off without anyone seeing.
- Know in advance exactly where the body would be taken.
- Risk involving the morgue director in the plan
- Know which flight the coffin will travel on.
- Ensure that he got assigned to that flight and ensure Stephanie gets assigned to that flight.
- Get explosives into a coffin for which he didn't know the combination
- Rely on Kyle and Julia getting on board without anyone noticing Julia
- And much, much more