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Darlene H. from CARLISLE, KY
Reviewed on 12/3/2007...
A thriller , very good movie.
"Nothing Goes Wrong On My Flight!"
Robert I. Hedges | 12/01/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the airplane disaster movies I have ever seen, "Rough Air" is the worst in every regard. As an airline pilot you would expect me to notice technical errors in the film, which is why I normally have a policy of not discussing them (this genre is loaded with manure), but the problem here is there isn't a single thing close enough to the real world to not discuss them.
The film is an insult to intelligence, and an ode to poor production values, starting with stock footage of just about every kind of airliner ever built. The premise is that Mike Hogan (Eric Roberts) almost had a disaster on his last flight (illustrated by newsreel footage of a 737 that landed with one on its main landing gear retracted; in real life nobody was injured and the aircraft was quickly repaired) and is now too traumatized to fly. To say that this whole bit (and what follows) is hokey is to dramatically understate the obvious. After a subplot about bringing professional soccer to the US (I told you it wasn't realistic...) we get to the meat of the movie: Hogan is needed as a last minute substitute First Officer on a transatlantic flight. Onboard are the typical cast of B-movie characters: annoying college students, uppity first class passengers, a murderer and his guard, and, of course, Hogan's ex-girlfriend, a Flight Attendant. It's Hogan's first flight since his horrific accident and he's not only scared, he is (of course) flying with a Captain who is a totally arrogant and self-important.
During pushback a cargo door won't close correctly, but the Captain is more worried about being on time, so they depart. During cruise there is a subplot about a loose handgun, a dangerous criminal on the loose, and looming aeronautical peril. Here's an abbreviated account of what happens next: the cargo door comes loose, they have a rapid decompression, they have "jammed controls", one engine ceases functioning, the rudder doesn't work (good luck with that engine out control, Hogan), and the Captain is tied to a seat in the cabin with flexible handcuffs, which yields both hysterical ranting from said Captain and hilarious public address announcements from "Acting Captain Mike Hogan." Could the film get more idiotic?
The short answer is yes, it could.
It turns out that they decide to divert to Iceland, and the prisoner is the only one onboard with a pilot's license, so he comes to the cockpit to help Hogan. Hogan does what every airline pilot would never consider doing: he leaves the prisoner as the only pilot in the cockpit while he goes down to inspect the cargo hold, which is, of course, not physically possible. About this time a computer engineer is called upon to help by using his laptop to hack into the evil fly-by-wire system which has taken over and is leading them into a terrible thunderstorm! (Not.) After that's dealt with, the computer programmer, prisoner, and a soccer player with a fear of flying go down to the cargo bin to "plug the hole" caused by the door ripping off because it's making so much drag that they won't get to Iceland. (I am not making any of this up.) Needless to say this is all quite dramatic.
Meanwhile up in the cockpit Hogan is rekindling romance with his ex-girlfriend, and also charming a sexy Icelandic air traffic controller with small talk. I bet you can't guess how it will end. Let me just say that it ends totally predictably, and the approach and landing melee may be one of the most painful scenes I have ever sat through.
In sum, this film is ludicrous at best, idiotic at worst. It features bottom of the barrel acting, a genuinely horrible script, inept direction, more B-movie characters and subplots than virtually any other movie in history, and makes for an excruciating viewing experience. If you want to practice rolling your eyes, this is a very useful tool, otherwise, avoid it at all costs, especially if you know anything about flying (or even know what an airplane looks like)."
It's totally de(com)pressing...
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 08/27/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The full name of made-for-TVer "Rough Air" is ROUGH AIR: DANGER ON FLIGHT 534. This one is far from Eric Roberts' shining moment. The movie has been accurately described as an unfunny version of AIRPLANE! (1980).
Roberts is a disgraced pilot riding the co-pilot seat who must take over a disintegrating jet liner when the assigned captain goes off his nut. Clichés escape from every mouth; an overly-predictable script becomes quickly tedious; cheap-o computer-graphics are fakey as all get-out. Despite the loss of a cargo door, rapid cabin decompression and part of the craft's tail section falling off, passengers remain without oxygen masks in a Zen-like Xanax-induced calm, even as two stewardesses discuss Eric's bedroom prowess.
You want more? OK.
A 737 takes off on an impossible-for-it-to-make flight from London to Boston; while in-air it changes into a 757. But only aeronautics aficionados may notice that difference. The defective cargo door mysteriously moves from one location to another before exploding off the jet. A shackled convicted murderer volunteers along with another passenger to try and plug the gaping hole with luggage. After justifying a homicide he committed, the atmospheric imbalance rips the guy out of the plane, sans parachute. You'd laugh if it wasn't so ridiculous.
I can think of a dozen airline disaster pictures better than this one, and so can you.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(4.0) Rough Air: Danger on Flight 534 (TV-USA/Germany-2001) - Eric Roberts/Alexandra Paul/Anne Openshaw/Kevin Jubinville"