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.
  • "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.