Movie of the Day – Passenger 57
August 8, 2012 Leave a comment
This movie is the sole reason that I go to the casino’s and only bet on black. It’s a sure bet if there ever was one and I trust Wesley Snipes. Then again the man is in jail for tax evasion, so I guess that bet didn’t payoff in the end. HEY YO! I dig this terrible movie in the same way I love 90s action films for their general cookie cutter template and glorious smattering of violence and ass kicking. Passenger 57 is like Die Hard on a plane, but a cheap, coach class economy plane.
Grieving over the death of his wife at the hands of an armed robber and blaming himself for her death, anti-terrorism expert John Cutter (Wesley Snipes) is retiring from his dangerous job. The flight he’s on is occupied by a coterie of FBI agents escorting the lethal terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne), but as the aircraft is taking off, Rane’s associates, who have also boarded the plane, take the vehicle by force and free their leader. With the aid of a sheriff on the ground, a pair of stewardesses (Alex Datcher and Elizlabeth Hurley) and his old friend, airport manager Sly Delvecchio (Tom Sizemore), Cutter puts his special training and martial arts skills to good use combating the kidnappers. The clever, dapper Rane has several surprises in store for his nemesis, however, including killing a hostage and an ally who’s only pretending to be on Cutter’s side. His options becoming increasingly limited, Cutter devises a dangerous plan that involves dumping the airplane’s precious fuel reserves. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
This definitely falls into the so bad it’s good category of action films. Passenger 57 has it all from a racists old white lady that mistakes the hero for Arsenio Hall (very popular at the time), non-threatening WASPY villain, Elizabeth Hurley is in this movie and martial arts galore. It’s the antithesis of the 90s action template. Wesley Snipes was the man going into the early and mid 90s as he gets to showcase his martial art skills and Passenger 57 is the vehicle that serve the cheesy goodness of ridiculous action premises and palpable entertainment.
The movie is a pretty on the rails type of action film. Taking the premise of Die Hard (the godfather of action films if you will) and puts it in the air with nowhere to go. It still amazes me to this day how far fetched this movie is. I mean you have an armed terrorist faction controlling a plane that is a standard commercial size one at that and yet Snipes is able to elude all their attempts at capture. How is this possible? Well kids, logic get thrown at the window, which is great since I give no fucks about any of this making sense and just want to watch Snipes karate chop people, including Hurley, in the necks. Lots of explosions, little exposition, a bunch of mustache twirling by the villain and plenty of enclosed location action.
I will admit, I will watch this movie if it comes on TV. It’s so ridiculous that you have to love it. Studios wanted to turn Snipes into a major action star that they gave him movies like this to flex his skills. They cast him with lesser known actors to bump up his notoriety and just give them the bare minimum of plot so that he can just roundhouse his way through bad guys. Also they give catch phrases to emulate Arnold and I must admit, they are way better cause of how absurd they are. Anyways, if you want a quick, fun, all thrills, easy to swallow action film, you can bet on Passenger 57 to payoff.