Oh my, it’s been too long since I reviewed a real piece of #^$@ movie, so I dug deep into my bag of tricks to find a really smelly film: Passenger 57. This one is agonizing to watch since it hurts on so many levels. The movie’s signature tag-ling/sound byte was Wesley Snipes saying “always bet on black.” How clever. That is what is put forth as the highlight of the movie—and even that is reaching. Even if the only thing you’re interested in when you watch an action movie is guns blazing and fight scenes, then this one still falls short because the movie repeatedly insists on descending into silliness, with a story that makes very little sense, even as action movies go.
Snipes plays John Cutter, a security expert who’s just been hired to be chief of security for Atlantic International Airlines. He boards a flight for Los Angeles not knowing that the FBI is transporting a vicious terrorist on the same flight. The opening scenes involving terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne) and his attempt to escape the FBI by fleeing a plastic surgeon’s office, where he was apparently going to have his appearance changed, was so cliché and over acted it had established the nature of movie early on.
Naturally the rest of the movie is a back and forth Die Hard wannabe duel between snipes and the terrorist. So poor I can’t even recount on the site as it could be viral and affect the other reviews.
This film has one redeeming quality. It’s very short. So short, in fact, that you’re actually pleasantly surprised when it ends. Surely that can’t be it, you muse for a moment, after Snipes has dispatched the chief bad guy. But yes, in an act of euthanasia for which the producers should be highly commended, its life support system is switched off and this turkey is given the quick death it so richly deserves.
In 2006 Wesley Snipes was indicted for tax fraud and he was found guilty of willfully failing to file his tax returns. Well the charge is a bit wrong – it’s the audience who’ve been defrauded by foolish excuse for an action movie. I apologize for having put you through this but I felt I owed it to you.