Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fahrenheit Flight 9-1-3, A Movie Review

Ripped directly from the mind of a Thom Clansey future historical fiction novel, Fahrenheit Flight 9-1-3 poses the "what if" situation we've all been waiting for: What if a bunch of zany terrorists from the Mid East hijacked a United States of American airplane in flight, but then the hijackers became the hijackees when the passengers and crew "turned the table" on the hijackers and started doing a little hijacking of their own?

Answer: [!!!Spoiler Alert!!!] The plane would crash in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania killing all those on board, ushering in a whole new genre of movie-making, the "hypothocumentaryama". It's reminiscent of what philosophers of yore would call "suspension of belief". And from this hypothetical moment on, nothing would ever be the same, hypothetically.

From the makers of Katrina 3: This Time It's Personal, a "mockumendramedy" in which a hapless but so lovable poor black family of 7 is chased up and down the gulf coast by a zany hurricane with sense of irony and an "eye of gold", ultimately decimating New Orleans in a scene that will have you peeing in your pants and writing your congressman, Flight starts off slow, speeds up a touch, taxis out to the runway, speeds up a lot, gets airborne, flies for a bit, loses altitude and [!!!Spoiler Alert!!!] comes crashing to the ground in a scene that will have everyone taking one giant step to the right.

It's your typical hypothetical average day at your typical average hypothetical airport. Typical hypothetical average passengers and hypothetical crew board a typical average hypothetical airplane along with some typical hypothetical average terrorists bound for San Francisco. But hang on a second, folks, because those aren't flowers in their hair, but towels on their heads, which can only mean one thing: box cutters.

And higher than you can learn how to fly (but not land) a jumbo jet in southwest Florida with nothing but a fake I.D. and plenty of "Benjis", the towel-headed people declare a jihader on this non-smoking roundtrip, and take over the airplane.

But quicker than you can park a 747 on the 116th floor of the Empire State Building, the passengers declare a little jihader of their own and veritable hijacking mutiny madness ensues. "Let's get rolling."

Well I for one am glad that the cameras were "rolling" on this hypothetical reenactment. Because it's downright "fatwha-tastic"! Until [!!!Spoiler Alert!!!] everyone dies, that is.

Much has been made of the "dual praying scene" in which the passengers' prayers ("Holy fucking shit, my God, Jesus Christ, we're all going to fucking die!") is juxtaposed with those of the hijackers ("Allah be praised, Allah is great, we're going to die and get 72 virgins, &c., and things of that nature, and all we had to do was kill of bunch of basically innocent people, in a sense! Hurrah!"). Rabid debate surrounds the issue of whether or not this would actually happen in a hypothetical situation such as this. Sadly, we'll never know.

Though Father Mulcahee's cameo in which he delivers The Last Rights was a little too tongue-in-cheek, this is one Hale Mary (morality) play you'll take with you all the way to the midterm elections.

Please put your seats in the upright position, along with your trays, and fasten your seatbelts, folks, because we don't want movies like Fahrenheit Flight 9-1-3. We need movies like Fahrenheit Flight 9-1-3, if for no other reason than to spend a couple hours where we can escape reality and blow off some steam in a fantasy world of terroristic improbabilities with enough emotional blackmail to make Gus Van Sant's Elephant look like a snuff film.

Though the DVD release should time out nicely with the exit polls this Fall.

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