Red Eye (2005) / Thriller-Action

MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence and language
Running Time: 85 min.

Cast: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays, Jack Scalia, Brittany Oaks
Director: Wes Craven
Screenplay: Carl Ellsworth

Review published August 5, 2005

Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, The Notebook) stars as hotel manager Lisa Reisert, who is delayed at the airport due to the terrible local weather in Texas.  While waiting for her flight, she meets a handsome and charismatic man named Jackson Rippner (Murphy, Batman Begins), and together they share some interesting conversation while they wait for the next available flight to Miami.  Finally, they are booked on the "red-eye", the last flight of the night, and as fate would have it, they end up seated together.  Small talk grows more sinister as Jack reveals that he isn't all he seems to be, as he intends to use Lisa's clout as the hotel manager in order to secure a room change that would lead to the possible assassination of one of the country's top officials.

Red-Eye is, at heart, a fairly routine thriller made passably entertaining by the quality of the film's stars, as well as director Wes Craven's (Cursed, Scream 2) knack for effective suspense done with wit and style.  At 85 minutes, it is as slick and efficient as they get, engaging in its character development at the beginning of the film, which pays off with a riveting popcorn finale. 

As with most thriller of this ilk, suspension of disbelief is a must.  Thankfully, Craven keeps the action moving at a feverish enough pace for us to overlook any plot holes that have developed, although it does become strange that the always resourceful Lisa begins to do some very dumb things in order to facilitate the final confrontation during the film's climax. 

Those that enjoyed last year's sleeper thriller, Cellular, will probably be equally satisfied with this similar vehicle, with its unrelenting pacing tempered with comic relief.  As long as you don't think about it too much, you'll find Red-Eye to be an often riveting B-movie suspenser with some surprisingly nifty tricks up its sleeves.

Qwipster's rating:

2005 Vince Leo