Thursday Night Movie Club
Redeye
star rating graphicstar rating graphicstar rating graphic
Release Date: August 19, 2005

Director: Wes Craven
ACTORS:
Rachel McAdams
Cillian Murphy
Brian Cox
Laura Johnson
Max Kasch
Jayma Mays
Angela Paton
Suzie Plakson
Jack Scalia
Robert Pine
Carl Gilliard
Mary Kathleen Gordon
Loren Lester
Philip Pavel
Amber Mead
CHARACTERS:
Lisa Reisert
Jackson Rippner
Dad
Blonde Woman
Headphone Kid
Cynthia
Nice Lady
Senior Flight Attendant
William Keefe
Bob Taylor
Taxi Driver
Airline Representative
Irate Passenger
Dallas Ticket Agent
Dallas Ticket Agent
Redeye movie poster
Photo of Cillian Murphy as Jackson Rippner and Rachel McAdams as Lisa Reisert in RedeyeWes Craven has crafted a very fine thriller in Redeye. A random encounter in a Dallas airport terminal while passengers await the departure of the redeye flight home to Miami turns out to be anything but a random encounter. Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy are the centerpieces of the movie. Both actors turn in excellent performances.

Hotel Guest Services Manager Lisa is rescued from a belligerent passenger by the charming Jackson Rippner. Rippner displays a talent for projecting malice, even though he does not have an overbearing physical presence. With nothing better to do before the plane departs, Lisa takes up Rippner's invitation to join him for a cocktail. After a few tries, Rippner correctly guesses Lisa's cocktail of choice. Interesting. But when Rippner ends up in the seat on the plane next to Lisa, "Murphy's Law" should be screaming in Lisa's head. They have a saying in Chicago, "First is happenstance, second is coincidence, the third time is enemy action."

Through friendly conversation, Lisa disturbingly learns that Rippner knows quite a bit about her. Lisa is understandably concerned when she discovers Rippner's job skills. The "plum on the pudding" comes when Rippner shows Lisa her father's wallet. She recognizes it immediately, but before she can call for help, Rippner explains that he has the same initials as her father and that the wallet is now filled with his identification cards. Lisa finds she doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Photo of Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy in RedeyeWes Craven has crafted a wonderful Hitchcockesque picture. The McGuffin, what the spies are after, is the assasination of the Secretary of Homeland Security. Like Alfred Hitchcock films, this is unimportant compared to Lisa's plight: Does she sacrifice her father's life to save the Secretary?

As every attempt by Lisa to save her father and the Secretary fails, Lisa, unknowingly accomplishes one small feat. She has drawn attention and suspicion to them. This little advantage leads the movie towards its climax. The only reason this movie gets a rating of 3 stars is that Craven is no Alfred Hitchcock. The suspense is well developed. The acting is excellent. The movie just doesn't reach the level of making the audience really uncomfortable watching the situation unfold. The audience never reaches the level of extreme helplessness felt by Lisa to make this a great movie.

Photo of Jayma Mays in RedeyeLike Hitchcock, Wes Craven is smart enough to add lots of humor. Humor is a great film device to ease the tension, but yet magnify the suspense. No need to go into specifics, but the final resolution is both intense yet subliminally funny at the same time. Early on, Rippner tells Lisa that, basically, he is not a man of action. This is shown during the final encounter.

Craven does a masterful job of foreshadowing during the title sequence. He depicts how the wallet is stolen. This is cross-cut with a sequence of smuggling a large silver case. If you are paying attention, the wallet sequence also cleverly and very clearly shows another element that is important in the movie. Behind the wallet sitting on top of a clothes bureau is a photo of a younger Lisa while she was in high school. The shot of the photo is repeated just in case it was missed the first time.

There is only one goofy sequence in the film, unfortunately. The security detail protecting the Secretary are suspicious of a fishing boat in the ocean outside the Secretary's hotel. They promptly check it out and find nothing. As the security team departs, one of the fishermen reals in his line and pulls up the silver case. I saw this coming the instant I saw the fishing boat. I was wondering what pound test line he spooled on his reel to pull up the weight of that case. The strength of the fishing line should have been a dead-give-away. Anyone who knows something about fishing would have attached the case to a down rigger which would easily be able to carry the load.

But I am being nit-picky. Redeye is a very good thriller. Go see it and enjoy!