DVD Review – Airborne (2012)

Airborne, 2012.

Directed by Dominic Burns.
Starring Mark Hamill, Craig Conway, Billy Murray, Sebastian Street, Simon Phillips, Alan Ford, Julian Glover, Gemma Atkinson and Rita Ramnani.


SYNOPSIS:

Hell literally breaks loose on board a Trans-Atlantic flight when an ancient evil is unleashed at 30,000 feet.


Direct-to-DVD director Dominic Burns is back with another low budget direct-to-DVD affair in the form of airplane based thriller-come-supernatural-movie Airborne.

I’ve always been a fan of closed environment thrillers. Films like The Hole and 2010’s Buried have always impressed me from a) a story telling standpoint and b) in terms of filmmaking. It takes a great level of skill to make a feature length movie set predominantly in one location that can grasp an audience to make sure they don’t fall asleep before the credits roll. To Airborne’s credit, it does come very close but it falls under the weight of trying to cram one too many ideas in the film.

Burns has brought back many of the alumni from his Jack Trilogy (Jack Says, Jack Said and Jack Falls) including Simon Phillips as our (I guess) hero of the movie and Alan Ford who is Bricktop in all but name. Joining them is Gemma Atkinson (people in their mid to late 20s will remember her as Lisa from Hollyoaks), Billy Murray (Johnny from EastEnders), Julian Glover and fellow Star Wars alumni member Mark Hamill in what could be considered an all-star cast (if you judge your casts by D-list standards). Hamill is actually brilliant in the short amount of time he has on screen and the rest of the cast do a decent enough job bar Julian Glover, who looked to be phoning in his performance with an accent I couldn’t quite place, and Gemma Atkinson, who has never looked more unconvincing in a role since her saucy antics on Hollyoaks: After Hours.

The characters themselves are fairly limited and are not really fleshed out over the course of the movie. Burns tries to inject some backstory into each character in incredibly contrived scenes but overall everyone feels like the same person but with a different face and job. You’re never really rooting for anyone, nor are you jeering anyone either, which doesn’t help move the pretty lacklustre plot along.

Airborne doesn’t know whether it wants to be an in-the-air thriller like Red Eye or a supernatural artifact movie like Raiders of the Lost Ark. Neither idea works particularly well and combining both elements ultimately leads to the film’s downfall. Just as you settle yourself into a path it drags you over to another one, only to lead you back down the previous path at just a moment’s notice.

At times plot threads get started but are never given any satisfying conclusion, which just adds to the mess and almost feel like they were inserted just to ramp up the “mystery”. The pacing of the movie is slow and steady, which works for this type of film, but because none of the payoffs are any good, it feels kind of empty. Elements of the film are great and some of the deaths and visuals are actually excellent but overall, the plot needed a lot of work before it was put into production.

Two ideas which don’t excite, combined together to make one mess of a movie set on an airplane. Aside from a great performance by Mark Hamill, Airborne is really is one to miss. It starts off good and moves at a decent pace but its lack of payoffs, conclusions and lacklustre ending will leave you unsatisfied and ultimately annoyed.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★

Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.

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