Red Eye is like having only one bite of your all-time favorite dessert: good but ultimately unsatisfying. The “master of horror” Wes Craven (who can forget A Nightmare on Elm Street?) brings us a psychopath on an airplane, and believe me: this guy’s name isn’t on any government terrorist list.
Starring Rachel McAdams (The Wedding Crashers) and Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins), Red Eye takes place in the not-so-friendly skies. McAdams plays Lisa Reisert, the manager of a Miami hotel returning home after her grandmother’s funeral. While in the airport she has a “chance” meeting with Murphy’s character, Jackson Rippner. Can you imagine? A psycho named Jack Rippner? Oh yeah, at this point Lisa doesn’t know Jack’s a psycho. He seems like a friendly stranger. They share a drink while they wait to board their delayed flight. Once the two strangers happen to be seated next to each other on the flight, the fun begins. Turns out Jack has a little assasination to carry out. One of the guests at Lisa’s hotel, a political bigwig, must be taken out. Jack needs Lisa’s assistance. If she fails to cooperate, Grandma won’t be the only relative needing a funeral: she can kiss dear old Dad goodbye. That’s the premise of the movie, and I think it’s a good one. Here’s my problem: The movie has excellent, taut pacing but ends too quickly. The resolution, although an intelligent one, is all too neat and comes too soon. The only thing missing is a cherry on top or a big red bow. 85 minutes! That’s short by movie standards, or at least it is to me. The movie spends too much time in the beginning trying to make the audience fall in love with McAdams. OK, we get it: she’s cute, lovable….blah blah blah. Move on. The writer didn’t need to spend so much background time on Lisa. I always point out the implausible, and I’ll just say this: Jack is a sorry ass assassin. I won’t reveal anymore, see for yourself. Some positives: Red Eye is VERY smartly written. McAdams and Murphy also make the most of their roles: she as plucky, resourceful heroine–he as twisted but inept villain. Murphy seems to have quite the knack for playing the meanie. This makes his second badguy role of the summer, and it suits him. He looks scary as fu*k, in my opinion. He has the most amazing/ugly/pretty/scary clear blue eyes. They look unreal and hella creepy. Like a teensy weensy bite of your fave dessert, Red Eye is good while it lasts but after it’s done you feel a little empty and wish you had more.