DVD Review: Airborne
Available on DVD from Monday July 23rd, 2012.
Executive Decision it’s not. Passenger 57 it’s not. Snakes on a Plane it’s not. Con Air… you get the point. Directed by Dominic Burn (not the newsreader on Radio One, that’s Dominic Byrne) Airborne is a ‘horror/supernatural thriller’ that, of course, takes place on a plane.
As a storm rapidly closes in on the UK, all flights are cancelled, barring Flight 686, bound for The Big Apple. Shortly after take-off, several passengers mysteriously go missing causing panic and mayhem. When it becomes obvious that Flight 686 has veered off course their anxieties become increased. Terrorists on board are responsible for the strange goings on as they take everyone hostage revealing that they are after the expensive Ming; – sorry Shang Vase that is worth millions upon millions of pounds. However, they did not bet on the legend of the Chinese God of Death when all hell breaks loose, as the remaining passengers come face to face with an ancient evil that rears it head looking to breathe again after thousands of years. Is the legend true? Will they survive? Do we even care?
Not even Mark ‘Luke Skywalker’ Hamill can use the force and save this from mediocrity. The problem is not the partially hammy performances from the cast… in fact they add a dash of humour to the proceedings. Simon Phillips (White Collar Hooligan) as the broken hearted Alan is decent as the outlet used for comic relief, Julian Glover (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Game of Thrones) is a cut above the rest and Alan Ford (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch) who has just got that characteristic screen presence and demeanour that screams Cockney gangster. Gemma ‘Hollyoaks’ Atkinson, the lovely Fiona Ryan and the rest of the cast do the best they can within the constraints of the film. Airborne suffers due to the wooden, non-dimensional characters, weak writing, the occasional bad dialogue and the telegraphed ending.
Along with Simon Phillips, Airborne also feels like a White Collar Hooligan reunion with Peter Barrett, Rita Ramnani and Billy Murray all featuring at some stage or another. Kudos to director Dominic Burn for assembling the likes of Hamill and Glover and even though the movie possesses a tongue-in-cheek, fun tone; it unfortunately lacks any tension, scares and thrills.
Will Airborne act as a catalyst to propel Mark Hamill back into the big time to go hand in hand with his voice-over work? Well if this was his thinking, the answer will more than likely be no but this, however does remain to be seen. Whilst not the greatest movie ever made, the humour, light hearted element, a running time of 77 minutes and the obvious fact that the cast are enjoying themselves, saves Airborne from crashing and burning.
FMV Rating **