Flight of the Phoenix
starring Dennis Quaid, Giovanni Ribisi, Tyrese Gibson, Mirando Oto, Hugh Laurie, Tony Curran and Kirk Jones
written by Scott Frank and Edward Burns
directed by John Moore
This is a re-make of the 1965 movie The Flight of the Phoenix, which starred James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Kruger, Ernest Borgnine and George Kennedy. This new edition is based on the previous screenplay by Lukas Heller, and both versions are based on the novel by Elleston Trevor. As far as re-makes go, this is pretty good, and I can recommend it. I re-watched the 1965 original just a few months ago, and it still stands up pretty well. Well, it would, wouldn’t it, with stars like Stewart, Attenborough, Finch and company, tough Man actors all of them. Dennis Quaid is a He Man kind of guy, and he fills the role of Jimmy Stewart as pilot pretty well, but I have to admit that I liked Stewart more.
A planeload of oil rig workers stationed deep in the Gobi Desertare being delivered back to Beijing. In a nod to modern trends, a woman is thrown into the oil crew. A tough, alpha female boss, no less - she’d have to be to be an oil rig worker. I didn’t see the use of putting a woman into the new film because it did nothing to the story. It didn’t change it. It didn’t improve it. So why was she there?
During the flight, the plane crashes in a sandstorm. Most aboard survive. After it becomes evident that they are beyond reasonable hopes of rescue they set about to use the tools they are carrying to re-craft the plane wreckage into a usable flying machine. Along the way they deal with panic, personality clashes, starvation and dehydration, and murderous smugglers.
I especially liked the song “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash which is featured during the film’s opening credits. In fact, I re-watched the intro four times just so I could listen to the Man in Black again and again.