Red Eye (2005)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Red Eye

With a combination of suspense and one of my favorite Hollywood actress’, it was inevitable that I’d see this thriller. All that was to be decided was when.

In her capacity as manager at one of Florida’s most prestigious hotels, Lisa (Rachel McAdams) is used to dealing with unreasonable customers. Returning home from her grandmother’s funeral in Texas, Lisa discovers her red eye flight is delayed. While waiting, a charismatic stranger strikes up conversation with her, inviting her to have a drink with him while they wait. Afraid of flying and having gone through a traumatic event in her past, Lisa isn’t too keen on allowing herself to be charmed by a stranger but against her better judgment, she does.

Jackson (Cillian Murphy) buys her a drink, and after some harmless flirting, the two part ways only to discover that they are seated next to each other on the  plane. Once they are off the ground, Lisa finds out that Jackson didn’t  randomly single her out. Their meeting was no coincidence. Unwittingly, she is pulled into a political assassination plot that, without her cooperation, will sign the death warrant of her father (Brian Cox).

As the title would suggest, the film takes place on a plane for a good thirty to forty minutes of the runtime that is surprisingly short, and because of this tight compacting, well paced. The unexpected seventy-some minute time it clocks in at keeps the script fresh, and without time to drag on, which otherwise would have become more of a snooze fest than a taunt thriller. The tight plot and well-written script might not use plot twists that are inventive to most in the mystery genre, but it's well-crafted nonetheless. Most movies wouldn’t do well with such limited resources in this capacity to tell a story but this one was actually helped by it.

Shooting so much of the movie on a plane heightened the sense of impending danger. The transitions to Lisa’s hotel (the employee she talks to is, incidentally, hilarious) and her father are timed well, and keep things from stalling out in the tense nature of the film. Placing its victim and villain in such close quarters together changes the dynamics and makes everything seem more threatening. McAdams and Murphy are great in their respective roles. Murphy pulls off a charming persona though even in his early moments with Lisa we are questioning his motives. Is he really just a man interested in a fellow passenger or are more sinister deeds in the works? His villain is one of the more chilling because of that allure. Similarly, McAdams turns in a great performance and leads us to cheer for her to triumph. The characters are fleshed out well despite the limited time to set everything up.

I think I can say without reservation that Red Eye surprised me in its capacity as a thriller. It is smart, not wasting any time in getting to its story, but not above using common clich├ęs to further its plot, plus the cast is impressive. More unusual for my family is that my father actually got into the climax of this story; all of us were on the edge of our seats wondering how it was going to end, expecting the worst and being surprised that the last moments tempt laughter instead of tears.

CONTENT:  Threats are made to several people; a woman is banged up and a hand-to-hand battle climaxes the story when a man is stabbed, shot and a woman topples down stairs. An entire suite of rooms blows to smithereens. There is one f-word and a smattering of more commonplace profanity. The rating is PG13.



  1. i love her! :)

    i wanted to see this movie, too.

    have a nice wknd!

    ADAM ❤ ALEX Mommy

  2. I LOVE this movie. When I was living in the city, a friend of mine came over to attend Women of Faith with me, and that morning we went to see this -- adored it so much that the next night when we got home, we went and saw it again at an 11pm showing. It was sooo worth seeing in the dark!

  3. This looks really good!

  4. Hi Rissi! I've been gone so long from your blog that now I'm excited I have so much to catch up on. And I love the new design and name! Very nice.

    Red Eye is a movie that I kind of wanted to see because - well - after seeing Batman Begins and Inception I really like Cillian Murphy as an actor, and this one looked like the perfect part for him - charming but creepy at the same time. :)

    I don't know if my family would like it very much, though, because they don't really like thrillers. But I do want to see it someday.

  5. Jasmine - Rachel is one of my favorite actress'; I just didn't use up space here to talk about her acting talent since I've done so in prior reviews. :-)

    Hope you enjoy if/when you see this one - and thanks so much for dropping by!

    Happy weekend. :-)

    Charity - I liked this one quite a lot. My expectation of it was that I'd hate the end so I was surprised to get a chuckle out of it instead of ranting at the writers. :-)

    This is certainly a tense movie but honestly... I didn't find it as taunt as other thrillers. In my opinion, that is a good thing!

    Ella - if you like mysteries, then yes, this is quite good! :-)

    Lauren - I was surprised by how much my dad got into this movie though he likes thrillers - did your family like Inception? I've not seen it but if they liked something like that, they shouldn't mind Red Eye. (Murphy is indeed the perfect balance of charm and creepiness - he sort of sets you on edge even in the beginning!) Hope you get the chance to see this one!

    Aw! Thanks so much! I was toying with some different names but this one works. I don't want to name the blog anything specific since I do try and post a little bit of everything though the emphasis is on film. Still... I don't want to limit myself with the name! I had fun with this design but am still deciding if I like a background as opposed to white - I like simple and "clean" designs best.

    Hope you are around again, girl as I always love your input. :-) Thanks so much for all your great comments!


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