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Flight of the Phoenix

Year: 2005
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: John Moore
Writer: Scott Frank/Edward Burns
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi, Hugh Laurie

Finished in 2004 and released across the US, bad reviews and poor box office shunted it to the back shelf of the Australian distributor, who released it in the middle of the winter blockbuster season.

Also part of the career renaissance of Dennis Quaid. In his heyday he enjoyed roles in films like DOA, Innerspace and The Big Easy, his career took something of a dive during the late 90s before films like Frequency, Traffic and The Day After Tomorrow put him back on the A list, even though he's still a fairly hammy actor most of the time.

I'd only ever seen the original on TV and had the idea I was watching something fairly special, and I think the critics were unfair. It didn't pretend to be anything it wasn't, just a big, neat, pop-ish adventure movie, Bruckheimer-lite style, complete with blue collar heroes, a do-anything-to-get-the-job-done attitude, and even the token chick (our Miranda, making a big splash in Hollywood with this and War of the Worlds).

After the incredible crash sequence, it follows a fairly expected race against time story arc (more or less the same story as the original), and untested director John Moore carries it off with a bit of humour, a bit of tension, and a bit of spectacle. There are a few secrets, a few plot strands to keep you interested, and a handful of interesting characters. Don't think, just enjoy it.

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