Review – Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

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flight-of-the-phoenix-52131b5040589Here’s an example of a remake that I truly believe meets the original on most aspects, Flight of the Phoenix. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, you should definitely check out both versions of this film. Because HDNet Movies is currently featuring the 2004 version, I went ahead and watched this thing again. So let’s get into it.

A group of air crash survivors are stranded in the Mongolian desert with no chance of rescue. Facing a brutal environment, dwindling resources, and an attack by desert smugglers, they realize their only hope is doing the impossible… building a new plane from the wreckage of the old one. (IMDb)

The first time I saw this film, I was doing what everyone else watching it was doing – comparing it to the original. Since then, I’ve stopped my bad habit of comparing what should be considered two different projects, but even so…it’s not a bad comparison. The two films work really well on their own and when they shout out to the original as well. The concept and characters are really the glue that holds both films together so well. If I could tell you the main difference between the two movies, it would no doubt be the characters…while they contain elements from the original, they’re mostly unique all on their own…and they’re all expertly cast.

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I had forgotten the sheer amount of talent in this film. I recognized almost every actor. The first time I saw the movie, I recognized maybe Dennis Quaid and Tyrese Gibson, but my god, Hugh Laurie? Jared Padalecki? Giovanni Ribisi? Miranda Otto? Even the rest of the cast I mostly have seen before, this is a GREAT cast, and they do amazing here. They have wondrous chemistry and keep things fresh even though the entire movie takes place in the middle of the desert. New threats, new obstacles and twists and turns keep this film flying high long after the plane crashes and leaves our heroes stranded. By the way, Giovanni Ribisi’s role as Elliot? Genius. While I remembered a couple of actors in this movie, I remembered his character…and that’s incredible.

As for the  premise, you’re talking about building a new plane from an old plane, an already impossible task made even more impossible at the thought that resources are going to quickly diminish when you’re working hard on building an entire airplane! An airplane you don’t even know will work or not when finished. Just to make things worse, let’s throw in sandstorms and possible enemies beyond those hills makes for quite a suspenseful movie.

Flight of the Phoenix is currently featured on HDNet Movies, so check that out if you have the channel. It’s suspense, action, drama, and overall unknown makes this movie a worthwhile watching experience. Check it out!

RATING: 8.4/10

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