Directed by Wes Craven.
Written by Carl Ellsworth.
Starring Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, and Brian Cox.
Release Year: 2005
Review Date: 8/21/05
"Red Eye" had the best trailer of the year.
Truly great stuff. You get to watch as Lisa (Rachel McAdams,
from "Mean Girls"
and "The Notebook") gets stuck in the airport while waiting for her
Miami-bound overnight flight, gets coffee spilled on her blouse, and
starts to cope the loss of her just-deceased grandmother. She
meets a mysterious man (Cillian Murphy) that happens to be on her
same flight to Miami; he likes nachos, so they get to know each
other over drinks and jalapenos. Wow, look, they're even
sitting next to each other on the plane!
And then, after she asks him what he does
for a living, he drops it: "Actually, my job right now
"From the master of suspense, Wes
I was like, damn, I can't wait to see that!
Then, the studio released the second trailer. And, the second
trailer is essentially scenes from the second half of the movie,
which gives every single detail away. For a film that is only
80 minutes long, this doesn't leave much to the imagination.
So, for me, the experience is ruined a bit
since I knew the plot details coming in. At least the
production is strong. McAdams and Murphy are both great;
Murphy was especially sinister this go-round to match his work in
"Batman Begins." Since they are the only two performers
for the first half of the film, this is great; I can't think of the
last time Wes Craven worked with such great performers, which helps
drive the suspense of the affair late after the film moves off the
airplane. The film is brisk (85 minutes, my ass); it felt like
it was over within an hour, it was flying by so fast. Craven
skimped on name talent for other roles in this film, and you can
tell he is throwing us some spam by making us care ever so slightly
about some of the other passengers on the airplane like "the old
woman", "the asshole passenger" and "the little girl." Even
with all of this, "Red Eye" feels like top-notch suspense, even if
it really isn't.
Now, I would be singing a much different
tune if I had not seen any trailers for this film, or at worst, just
the first one, the one that didn't feature car chases, a rocket
launcher and gunplay. I'll admit it--I was ruined a bit, and
when you are talking about a suspense thriller that relies on you
NOT knowing what's coming next, this kind of hurt the whole thing.
It seemed like Anne and Katia, two women I saw this flick with along
with my buddy Ross, loved "Red Eye", and neither of them had seen a
trailer. I wish I could have helped this, but when you see
movies at least twice a week, you get what you sign up for...or some
I can't lie--"Red Eye" wasn't bad. I
just wished that the suits in corporate would just leave well enough
alone and allow directors to make their trailers intentionally
suspenseful, while hoping that more movies will give us less of a
sell job for future audience members. Yeah, THAT'S going to
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard