Thursday, March 28, 2013

Always Bet on Black

Passenger 57
Director: Kevin Hooks
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Bruce Payne, Tom Sizemore, Elizabeth Hurley
Released: November 6, 1992

This is one of the most ridiculous movies I've seen in quite awhile. At least it was entertaining, so I can't complain it was boring. Wesley Snipes (remember him?) is John Cutter (not Carter!), an airline security expert who trains flight attendants in flight stimulations on what they should do if they should ever encounter a passenger with a gun. Because apparently in this world, it is very easy (VERY EASY) to get on a plane with a handgun. I mean, sheesh, I know that was pre 9/11, but I didn't know our airport security was that bad back then!

As any complex hero, Cutter has a dark past: his wife, Lisa, was killed when they were at a drugstore and a guy with a gun held the place up and shot the cashier and Lisa. Cutter becomes very attached and protected of the flight attendant, Marti, who reminds him of his wife and he even calls her Lisa at one point.

Cutter is given a job by the annoying stereotypical Italian guy played by Tom Sizemore and he flies from wherever he is to L.A.  to give an interview....or something....I really don't know, but that's not the important part. No, that would be on the very same flight is Charles Rane (Bruce Payne), an international terrorist. Rane has been on the run for quite awhile, but was finally caught by the FBI and now is flying on his way to be put on trial or go to prison or something, I don't know, being escorted by two FBI guys. Apparently after every time Rane does one of his terroristic deeds, he undergoes plastic surgery and gets a new face so he looks different. The FBI gets intel that he's at a local public hospital about to go under the knife, then go into the hospital and start firing at Rane (after he slices the doctor's throat with his scapel), not caring that there are random, innocent people all over the hospital. Ignoring the crap job the FBI is doing, let's just think about this for a second. Let's pretend you're an "international terrorist"  (as opposed to a domestic one, I suppose) and you have the means to change your face and appearance whenever you need to. Why the hell would you go to a PUBLIC HOSPITAL? Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but in most movies and TV shows when the bad guy is undergoing a transforming operation, doesn't he get some underground doctor to do it for him (then kills the doctor once he's done?) This idiot goes to a public hospital in the middle of the day...and kills the doctor before he even starts. Though to be fair, the doctor wouldn't have had time to complete the surgery as the FBI were already there. But what the hell was up with this doctor and his team of surgeons? Yes, I'm sure Rane was using an alias and yes, it's possible since he got so many extreme makeovers they didn't know what he looked like, but it was soooo obvious there was something sinister about this guy. You'd think they stop and say, "Wait a minute. Something's not right with this guy." It was so ridiculous. And I'm thinking how ridiculous the whole thing is even before Rane crashes out of a window and lands on top of an umbrella on an outside dining table before running away and is quickly captured by the police.

So Cutter and Rane are on the same flight and Rane has some backup to help him take control of the plane disguised as passengers and flight crew. This includes a pre-famous Elizabeth Hurley who is posing as a flight attendant. Now I didn't watch the trailer for the movie until after I saw it (because that's how I roll) and had I watched the trailer, I would have been spoiled she was working for the bad guy. I really hate it when trailers spoil little plotlines like that in a movie (no matter how bad the film). Maybe I should have seen it coming that Liz was part of the bad guy team, but I was shocked when she took out a gun under a dinner dome and shot one of the FBI agents.

Cutter is in the backroom when they take control of the plane and manages to sneak the plane phone and call his Italian friend to let him know what's up. Cutter, along with Marti, sneak down to the cargo area where he released fuel to force the plane to have to land and get more. Rane demands the pilots land at the closest landing strip which is a small one that is meant for smaller planes. Cutter manages to escape, jumping from the hatch (luckily the plane had stopped when he jumped), but Marti was caught and kept on board.

We see two stereotypical hillbilly men who work at the airfield as they negotiate with Rane. He says he will release half the prisoners if he gets a full tank of fuel in a certain amount of time. He also tells the hillbillies that Cutter is with him and not to believe anything he says. Cutter escapes from their custody and he and the bad guys have a shootout at a local fair next door. This whole sequence of them off the plane must have lasted for a good 45 minutes. Now when I rent a movie about a plane takeover, I expect the entire movie to be set on the plane, not this crap where they're running around a carnival! If I wanted that, I would have watched Beverly Hills Cop III.

Once Rane has his fuel, the plane lifts off with the other half of the hostages including Marti. Cutter, who has convinced one of the hillbillies he's a good guy and is trying to take down the bad guy, convinces him to drive him along side the plane so he can get out of the car and hop onto the plane and climb into the hatch and sneak into the plane. Wonderful plan if I ever heard one. Of course he succeeds and manages to kill all the bad guys (though he just knocks out Liz) until Rane is the only one left.

He and Rane start kicking and punching each other and a very small window, about the size of a postage stamp is blown out and papers start flying around everywhere. I can buy that. What I can't buy is that small of an opening makes the freaking door of the airplane rip off. But that's not the most ridiculous absurd thing about this whole situation. Marti, who was by the door, is hanging onto something for dear life, while Rane is near her. She seems to be more afraid of Rane than of the fact that she could easily let go and fall hundreds of feet to her death. But no. Once Cutter kicks Rane and shoves him out the door to HIS death, Marti (and Cutter) clearly relax, relieved that Rane is no longer there to terrorize anyone anymore. Uh, okay, that's great, but you're still hundreds of feet off the ground with a huge door missing from an airplane. You could still fall to your death. But no, we don't have to worry about that cuz we immediately cut to the next scene where they're safely on the ground and Cutter asks Marti out and there's witty and funny banter! They never even explained how they landed and how they dealt with there being no door!

As the movie's credits were rolling, it made me think of something. In the scene before Cutter gets on the flight, his Italian friend tells him he has a surprise for him. Once the terrorist activities start and Cutter calls him, he asks if that was the surprise, but it wasn't. So we never learned what this so called surprise was. Unless it was the old woman who sat next to him and thought he was Aresino fact at the end of the movie, everyone thinks Aresino Hall has rescued them and are doing the whoo whoo hollering and fist raising. This movie isn't dated at all. /sarcasm.

This movie is terrible. Awful. Craptastic. It's the kind of movie that would be perfect for a podcasts that review bad movies. And I'm sure there's one that's already discussed it! Oh, and I forgot to mention the worst line in the movie where Cutter tells one of the bad guys "To always bet on black."

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