Film: The Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

The Flight of the Phoenix is a 2004 The Film of the Book about the crew and passengers of a downed plane in the Sahara desert who, once realizing that rescue is not coming, attempt to build a smaller airplane out of the remaining parts of their aircraft.

The movie was not as well received as the first adaptation from 1965.

Tropes in this remake include:

  • Actionized Remake: In comparison to the original, including various sequences such as a more action-packed crash sequence (which includes the propeller take mentioned below), a lightning storm which almost makes the plane's gas reserves explode, and the nomad sub-plot escalating with a gun battle and the nomads chasing after the Phoenix as she tries to lift off with intent of killing the crew (in revenge for them killing some nomads in self-defense on said gun battle).
  • A-Team Montage: More so than the original.
  • Artistic License Physics: When the propeller comes off the engine before the crash, it flies forward as if under its own power, while staying level with the plane.
  • California Doubling: Averted in comparison to the original (it wasn't California), but filmed in Nigeria rather than the actual setting of Mongolia.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Liddle's watch, the catalog from Elliot's employer, the plane wreck and its contents.
  • Deadly Dust Storm: The plane crashes after flying into a dust storm in the middle of the desert.
  • Fatal Family Photo: subverted; both men who show pictures of their loved ones survive.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Tuck Pendleton, Sergeant Epps, Eowyn, Dr. House, Joker, Blade, and Sam Winchester are stuck in the desert...
  • Jerkass: Elliot. He takes potshots at Frank at every turn, lords his plane-design expertise over the rest of the group ("Everyone here is dispensable but me!") , takes water without considering the others, kills the raider without a second thought, and regards Alex's death simply as a loss of manpower. He's bad enough that you nearly condone Ian's attempt to shoot him. He gets better, though.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Elliot's killing of the raider. A gunshot wound to the chest/abdomen in the middle of the desert is a pretty much unsurvivable situation. Due to blood loss, he would have required at least twice as much water to stay alive and likely would have been subject to severe sepsis within a day or two. And you can quite easily see the anger that spread amongst the survivors just by bringing him there - a fight was not far away. Sacrificing the entire crew to delay the death (there was no real way to save his life) of someone who very recently tried to murder them is not intelligent.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: A variation.
    Alex: "Come to the Gobi," they said. "Great prospects," they said. "Sun, sand, oil."
    Sammi: Well, two out of three ain't bad.
  • Meaningful Name: The Phoenix. "Consumed itself in fire, rose renewed from the ashes." It's also the namesake for Frank and A.J.'s new commercial flight service, "Phoenix Aviation."
  • The Remake
  • Riding into the Sunset: The group flies off into the sunset, and the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue begins. You never see them land. (They do land in the 1965 film.)
  • Setting Update: To 2004. Note OutKast's Hey Ya! playing on the CD player, and Ian's cellphone. Outside of that, few references to time periods are mentioned.
    • Also the location has been moved from the Sahara Desert in Libya to the Gobi desert in China/Mongolia.
  • Shirtless Scene: You have a good long look at Dennis Quaid's abs right after they finish pulling the plane.
  • Shot for Shot Remake: It's not exact, but it's pretty close. The new version does not add or subtract much.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The remake added a girl, but deserves some credit for averting a Token Romance.
  • Toilet Humor: Ian walking away with a shovel and turning the sign from "vacant" to "occupied"
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A photo montage shown at the end.