He's an ex-cop with a bad mouth, a bad attitude, and a bad seat. For the terrorists on flight 163 . . . he's very bad news.
An infamous terrorist has evaded capture for a long time by being extremely clever and ruthless. Things get interesting when he hijacks a plane carrying famous security expert John Cutter, who isn't about to stand this sort of thing.
This movie is acceptable as 85 minutes of light entertainment but it really never rises above mediocrity. The plot is unimaginative with all the usual elements. Terrorist is transported by FBI on commercial flight, terrorist escapes with the help of an insider on the plane, our hero gets arrested by bungling cops who mistakes him for a bad guy and of course the obligatory jump off or on the plane while it is moving scenes. Yawn!
Wesley Snipes performance is as good as one can expect of Wesley Snipes which of course does not help elevate the movie above mediocrity. The one character which stands above the rest is the master terrorist played by Bruce Payne. I quite liked his cool, insane style of portraying his character.
There are a few semi-decent action scenes splattered around the movie which helps keeping the interest just above the I’ll-read-a-book-instead level. Otherwise the movie is an easily forgettable one. It is quite acceptable as 85 minutes of light entertainment but I would say that its relatively short length is one of its positive traits.
Wesley Snipes vs The Rane Of Terror. Or should that be our Pain at the Terror?
Of all the Die Hard clones there have been, and there have been many! Passenger 57 may just be the worst. The story follows Wesley Snipes' airline security expert John Cutter, who whilst undertaking a flight to L.A. gets embroiled in a hostage takeover led by evil bad man with a troubled childhood, Charles Rane. Cue quips, kicks and death defying tricks as Cutter strikes one for the good guys. Kevin Hooks' film works well enough on a very basic actioner level, due in the main to Snipes. Snipes was six years away from his signature role in Blade, and for sure he is a bona fide action star. As evidenced here, he has the charisma and body motions to carry the film thru its turgid script. It's a script that smacks of the writers sitting round a table and suggesting they put Snipes in a number of tricky situations and used that as an excuse for him to beat the crappola out of everyone. Oh and lets not forget the forced love story waiting to happen as well.
Ultimately it's just a lazy film that is the cash in that many realised it was upon its release. Bruce Payne manfully tries to make the unbalanced Charles Rane truly evil, but doesn't succeed. Liz Hurley, goddess of womanhood that she is, looks uncomfortable holding a gun, while leading lady Alex Datcher is hopelessly out of her depth. While the youthful looking Tom Sizemore and Bruce Greenwood also appear - but both are throwaway characters that you end up wishing we had had more of. Stanley Clarke's score is abysmal, it's the sort of score one expects to hear in a soft core porno movie - you know the kind where the protagonists are making love but they still have their underwear on! Yes that kind. Poor plotting, poor scripting and just about poor in technical execution. I don't ask much of the action genre, I really don't, but at least give the film some soul from which to entertain the popcorn masses. 3/10 for Snipes' fighting and Liz Hurley's legs.