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Rachel McAdams
as Lisa Reisert

Cillian Murphy
as Jackson Rippner

Brian Cox
as Joe Reisert

Jayma Mays
as Cynthia

Written by Carl Ellsworth

Directed by Wes Craven

Running Time: 1:25

Rated PG-13
for some intense sequences of violence, and language.

B-


THE OPENING

Red Eye was an interesting film that had no beginning, a quick ending, but yet was somewhat satisfying.

THE STORY

Lisa is on her way home to Miami after attending the funeral of her grandmother. She meets Jackson in the airport during a flight delay. Jackson seems like a nice enough guy, until they board the plane. There Jackson announces that unless Lisa makes a single phone call, her father will be killed. Jackson has been hired to kill the Deputy Director of Homeland Security who happens to be staying in the hotel where Lisa works. Lisa, who has had a rough couple of years to say the least, decides to fight back as the plane lands. How does she do? Take a guess.

THE REVIEW

Red Eye sort of just starts in the middle of what appears to be a bigger story. Namely, why does Jackson want to kill the Deputy Director? OK so he's a hired gun, but generally you find out who is paying him at least. But that is never touched upon. The movie plops us into the middle of the story with Jackson needing a last second phone call to get the job done. He's been following Lisa for weeks, learning everything about her, but again, we don't see any of that, it's just mentioned in passing and we have to make up the backstory on our own. Normally that would bother me, but for some reason it didn't this time out. I think that had to do largely with Rachel McAdams who looks absolutely radiant in Red Eye. She goes from high powered business woman to scared girl to a kick ass babe effortlessly and commands the screen throughout.

I'm torn on what I thought about Cillian Murphy as Jackson. He was creepy, that's for sure. His facial hair looks almost glued on and his face in general is oddly shaped. So as a bad guy he looks the part. But as someone that Lisa would be attracted to, he doesn't seem right. He is small enough however, that when she goes all Lara Croft on his ass, you can completely believe it. He does come off as kind of an inept bad guy. Waiting till the last second to put the plan into motion; letting her pass notes to people before eventually finding it out. And then letting himself get played? After a while you couldn't help but laugh at how bad he was. And at the same time cheer for how plucky Lisa was in kicking his scrawny butt.

Seriously, just look at that face to the left. How can you not love that face? And in real life she seems so sweet. I think that's a big draw. Instead of going the route of her Mean Girls co-star Lindsey Lohan and become paparazzi fodder, McAdams has chosen a quieter, more distinguished path. Yes I know some people will say that the press created a lot of Lohan's infamous situations, but you have to do something for the press to care and McAdams hasn't done anything bad. Yet. And here's hoping she stays that way because she's gotten a lot of critical praise along with headlining popular films and I think she's got a big career ahead of her. Before seeing Red Eye I was afraid she'd taken a small career misstep, but after seeing it I don't think this movie will hurt her career at all. I'm not sure it'll take her to another level, but it won't take her down a step. She gets to work with a well respected director in Wes Craven, and gets to star in a film where she's clearly the best known actor.

Speaking of Wes Craven, Red Eye was an interesting choice for him. There weren't a lot of big scare moments, and only one or two graphic violent moments. There were a lot of laughs, which is a hallmark for a Craven film. I was impressed at how you could make a full movie out of a plane flight, although looking at my watch, the plane portion was only about 35 of the 85 minutes. Actually it was 35 of the 78 minutes... the extra 8 minutes was end credits. That's why the movie felt like it ended suddenly. I kept waiting for that moment where we'd finally see who was behind Jackson, but we never did. His portion of the movie ended, and so did the rest of the film.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, I liked Red Eye. It was quick paced, very short and had no beginning, but Rachel McAdams carried the film on her shoulders and that made all the difference. It might not be worth paying New York City prices to see in the theater, but it's certainly worth watching.

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© 2005 Wolfpack Productions

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