Sunday, August 21, 2005

Red Eye

Fizzles where it should have popped


Wes Craven's Red Eye is all build-up and no pay-off. With two extremely engaging actors on screen in Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy, and an extremely effective premise, the final act of the film really disappoints as Craven reverts to the slasher style cat and mouse game he established in his Scream films. The running time of 80 minutes is misleadingly short as well; while "shorter is better" might be a rule of thumb in suspense thrillers, here the film's end credits hit us while we are still reeling from the speed at which Rachel McAdams's character, Lisa Reisert, goes from victim to victor.

Here's the set up: Hotel manager Reisert is flying back to Miami after her grandmother's funeral. She is befriended in the airport by a charming stranger with the unlikely name of Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy). Surprise, surprise, he also has the seat next to her in the plane! But not really! As it turns out Rippner wants to take out the head of Homeland Security who is to be staying in Lisa's hotel and threatens to kill Lisa's father unless she co-operates with him in his objective.

The scenes in the flight are the best part of the movie, the claustrophobic surroundings adding brilliantly to the suspense. Murphy's performance is especially outstanding here as he goes from charming to spooky in the blink of an eye; it's brilliant the way he smiles, able to make it flirtatious or chilling as it suits him. That said, Rachel McAdamas manages to bring a cerain intensity to her performance, unseen in any of the young actresses today (Did I say "young"? Just checked IMDB and she's pushing 30! Amazing, doesn't look that old!) Its a pity that the ending lets all of this goes to waste.

NOTE: I'd thought Red Eye was a term that would have a special significance in this movie. Turns out, it is just lingo for a late night flight!

6 Comments:

Anonymous guile said...

just saw red eye.. mr murphy is deliciously creepy..

2:31 AM  
Blogger Santosh Sankar said...

He sure is!

7:37 AM  
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