“A remake of a classic film that brings us nonstop action and suspense!!”

In the 60’s, there was no such thing as special effects. Actors were hired and they did all of their work without the help of computer animation or a blue screen. The original “Flight of the Phoenix” was made in 1965, under those circumstances-no blue screen to help them and no computer animation to give any stunning visual effects. But now, in 2004, we’re lucky enough to have all of the stuff that the older generation didn’t. These superb visual effects are what make the remake of “Flight of the Phoenix” so amazing. That and a stellar cast.

Out in the middle of the Gobi Desert, Kelly (Miranda Otto) receives news from her boss Ian (Hugh Laurie) that the American government is shutting down their oil rig that has been running for years. Sent to pick all the workers up is Frank Towns (Dennis Quaid), a slick pilot who doesn’t mind telling people that he’s the boss. Along for the ride is a mysterious man named Elliot (Giovanni Ribisi), who before the plane is even off the ground predicts that it will crash because it has too much weight.

Nevertheless, Frank ignores Elliot’s warning and takes off. Frank’s ignorance of Elliot’s warning turns out to be a fatal mistake. About five minutes after takeoff, an enormous sandstorm rips across the Gobi Desert, and Frank’s C-119 cargo plane is caught smack dab in the middle of it. Just as Elliot had predicted, the plane goes down somewhere in the middle of the Gobi Desert, where no one can find them.

In the beginning, there is a limited supply of water and even less food. Survival seems like a dim hope… until Elliot intervenes with an idea. He suggests they rebuild the plane with the parts of the broken one.

The rest of the movie consists of action, laughter, and ends perfectly. John Moore, who brought us explosive action in the movie “Behind Enemy Lines,” doesn’t fail to please us. His use of visual effects and the effective dialogue by Edward Burns make this movie a must-see.

Dennis Quaid, as usual, does a perfect job. His slick demeanor stays the same throughout the entire movie. He’s not afraid to show anyone that he’s boss. Hugh Laurie also delivers a great performance as Ian, the sneaky deal-maker of the group. But I believe that it’s Giovanni Ribisi who delivers the greatest performance. Throughout the entire movie, mystery surrounds him like a veil. From the moment he walks on screen, you wonder if there’s more to him than he says.

All in all, this movie makes the original look like an amateur movie. The visual effects alone make the new “Flight of the Phoenix” more enjoyable than the original.


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