Movie Review: Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2004 action/drama starring Hugh Laurie and Dennis Quaid.

Synopsis: The crew of a failed oil rig operation is relieved of duty and ordered to fly home. However, their overloaded plane crashes in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Running out of water and facing other dangers, the survivor's only hope is to build a new airplane out of the wreckage and hope it will be able to fly them to safety.

Review

I took a break from my Saturday morning chores today and ended up coming across this film on one of our movie channels. Even though I've seen it before, I couldn't find an alternative that looked interesting and decided to watch it again. And, once again, I ended up really enjoying this movie.

I've seen this version of the film and the 1965 original and, while both are good, this is definitely my favorite version of it. This is largely because of a very talented cast. Quaid is the star and does a decent job. But, the supporting group of characters, especially the half-insane Elliott (Ribisi) make the film memorable, especially since many of them are played by talented actors.

Another thing I like about this film is the way there is always some sort of danger. It's bad enough that they are in the desert and are running out of water (something that happens at an even faster rate once they start building the new plane). Just to make sure that story doesn't get boring, they also end up facing everything from violent smugglers to deadly thunderstorms.

On top of all of that, they also have their own mistakes, including accidentally destroying most of their fuel and their various personality clashes continually threaten their ability to complete their mission before they run out of water. As a result of all of this, every time things start to look up for them, something else happens that sets them back. This keeps the film interesting because there are plenty of times when the best course of action seems to be giving up.

Final Opinion

This a fun, entertaining movie that I enjoy every time I watch it. There's plenty of action and a good mix of emotional human conflict and that, combined with the various twists and turns, makes it a film that is worth taking the time to watch.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/11/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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candy47 on 11/09/2015

I've seen both versions of Flight of the Phoenix more than once, it's a great movie. Can't decide which I like best though. No sense trying.

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