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Have you ever seen anything BAD with Jeremy Irons in it? Or, for that matter, Forrest Whittaker? Granted, Jason Priestly's name is not exactly a hallmark of quality, but Charlotte Rampling tends to only do the good stuff.
So, here we have a lot of stars, the kind who will take on almost anythng as long as it is good, and they are in a shoot 'em up action thriller.
Well, it could be better, but it could be a lot worse. The first fifteen minutes, setting up the bad stuff that will have to be avenged later, are excruciating. You know something has to happen and has to happen soon, but you don't quite know when or how. Dread and tension build to the point that seeing a hijacking comes as a relief.
There is at least one loose end in this spys-and-robbers revenge bloodbath, or maybe Forrest Whittaker explained it away and I didn't believe him. He plays the role made familiar to many by Peter Falk's Columbo: shuffling, wondering, scratching his head while everyone else assumes he knows nothing at all, then, as you surely suspected, he knows quite a lot. He is more easily understood in his role, though, than the choice of suave Jeremy Irons as the outraged husband. Granted, he is supposed to be an unlikely avenger, and his character is considerably less stiff than, say Claus Von Bulow, but most Americans still do not think of him as Action Man.
It is pretty easy to guess why this one was not a real hit. Among other things, it runs only 95 minutes and at times it feels like they stretched it to that. There is no babe to sell, unless like me, you appreciate Ms. Rampling's mature charm. And the subtlety of exactly who the bad guys are is sometimes difficult to sort out. However, as a handy filler to keep on the shelf, this is good entertainment and well worth the time you'll spend on it.
AS I said at the beginning, these actors are well known for their skills. Without them, it may not have been much, but we have them, so this film gets a solid B minus.
One last note for you trivia buffs: Lois Maxwell, Miss Moneypenny of the Universal Export Company, plays the grandmother of the children whose deaths are being avenged.
Editor of The Economist based in London, Jack Elgin (Jeremy Irons), is married to Maria (Briony Glassco) and they have 3 children: Joanne (Anna Maguire), Julia (Holly Boyd) and Andrew (Joel Pitts). Due to a story he needs to cover, Jack alters the family's vacation from a week in Greece to a tour of India. Mid-air to India, the 747 owned by an American airline, makes an unscheduled stop in Cyprus, due to mechanical problems. After waiting in the airport, everyone reboards the jet only to be hijacked by terrorists known as the 'August 15th Movement', led by a Serbian Ivanic Loyvek (Serge Soric) and Karadan Maldic (Ivan Marevich). They demand $50,000,000 from the US State Dept. in 1 hour or everyone on the jet dies. The demand is met, Loyvek and Maldic begin releasing women and children while men wait to follow. When the front passenger door opens local police open fire. Frantic flight attendants open other doors ushering passengers out. Terrorists open fire on passengers which leads to an explosion. Maria, Joanne, and Julia get out of the jet; then Jack, holding Andrew; but, only long enough to watch Maria, Joanne, and Julia be shot. Maria and Joanne are killed; Julia's alive but burning to death while pleading for help. Jack and Andrew survive. Fifteen passengers die. Loyvek and Maldic escape with the $50,000,000. An inconsolable Jack's told the terrorists were captured; instead, they were released and secretly deported, with no charges or arrests. Jack's enraged that Loyvek and Maldic were set free. While helping Andrew cope, Jack tries legal means to seek justice for his family to no avail. He meets with Henry Davidson (Jason Priestley), a CIA agent working at London's American Embassy. Davidson tells Jack there's little they can do. Since both American and British governments act powerless to go after Loyvek and Maldic, Jack decides to do it himself. With the help of his ex-intelligence operative friend, Kate Stockton (Charlotte Rampling), expert of international intelligence, Jack becomes a one-man anti-terrorist squadron, stalking Loyvek and Maldich. Tracking Jack is FBI agent Jules Bernard (Forest Whitaker), who's cooperating with Scotland Yard on anti-terrorist activities and suspects Jacks been killing anyone involved in the hijacking. Even so, Jules is on Jack's side willing to help make those responsible pay for the deaths of people who died in Cyprus. Irons, Rampling, Priestly and Whitaker make up the heart of the film's main plot oh so well. A must own~
An early film (2003) that stars some names that play in bigger roles
later in their career. The story of a journalist that seeks revenge
for the killing of his family and the action that surrounds that occurrance.
Really good acting here, makes a film that is entertaining for a nights
enjoyment. Most will like the suspense here also.