Directed by Brandon Nutt.
Starring Randy Couture, Dominic Purcell, Vinnie Jones, Craig Fairbrass, Holy McCallany, Tiffany Dupony and Gina Philips.
A group of hijackers target a luxury private jet belonging to the world’s richest industrialist, but among their hostages are a tough-as-nails government agent looking to bring their organisation down.
Following The Expendables, there has been a host of straight to video films churned out, allowing the more minor players the chance to ride off the success nicely. As well as providing plenty of new films for established video maestro Dolph Lundgren, for Steve Austin and Randy Couture, it allowed them to try and establish themselves their own action movie careers. Austin had starred in a handful of films before the first Expendables, but since then he’s been pretty prolific. Randy Couture now, throws his hat into the ring.
Hijacked is essentially Executive Decision mixed with Passenger 57. It’s a long way short of the quality of those two, but basically it’s standard terrorists-take-over-a-plane. Couture stars as Paul Ross, a special agent working to take down a terrorist group known only as the Tribe, along with his partner Ballard played by Vinnie Jones. Complications arise when Ross’s ex-fiancé ends up on the plane.
The script here is entirely run of the mill. There’s nothing to give this anything like a feeling of freshness. Unfortunately, off the back of a film as successful as The Expendables, straight to video films made to cash in on stars’ popularity can often be churned out with little care or forethought. This is one example. It all feels a bit careless, a bit lazy. There’s no logic to it, no intelligent and there’s a complete and telling, lack of tension. The terrorists here are just a bit naff. There’s none of that well planned, intelligent menace you get from a Hans Gruber. The villains here are lame.
Couture is probably the biggest problem in the film. Most of the major headliners in The Expendables have had lasting careers as action men. Jason Statham could be considered the rookie from the established group at a career that’s already spanned 14 years. The rest have been around since the 80s at least. The reason they’ve lasted? Charisma, star power, presence. Couture just lacks what is required as a leading man. The lack of acting ability could be forgiven if there was some genuine charisma to hold the audience. In these times, unlike the late 80s / early 90s, it’s harder to launch yourself as an action star and maintain a career. Back then they came out in droves and we had countless stars who perhaps lacked in charisma, like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Olivier Gruner, Jeff Speakman, Gary Daniels and many more. Even then, many of those guys did films catered to get the best out of them as martial artists or whatever. Randy’s MMA fanbase may well hold him in good stead but he’s really more of a background tough than leading man. A film like this does little to make Couture standout. Perhaps a film with an MMA theme might see him step up a level.
The rest of the cast are mostly poor, aside from Vinnie Jones who’s become somewhat reliable in doing what he does. It’s also a change of pace for Vinnie as he’s not just playing a thug. Dominic Purcell is the other name actor here, but is wasted. You might have assumed he’d take up villain duty, but he doesn’t and given how uninspired Holt McCallany is as the bad guy it seems a bad decision. Elsewhere Gina Philips delivers one of the worst attempts at a British accent in cinematic history. It’s dreadful.
The mechanical direction from Brandon Nutt offers no excitement and the action lacks any imagination. There’s no standout finale, and it all ends like a damp squib. There is very little to recommend about Hijacked. It follows the formula to the letter, without instilling any sort of creativity and excitement. It seems to have been made for very little, as quickly as possible. It’ll make money, coming out just in time to cash in on The Expendables 2 but expect a lot of copies to appear in second hand stores within weeks.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★