One of the most absurd and disturbing thrillers in cinema history has arrived on Netflix

Truly talented directors know very well how to make sweet juices out of excessively sour fruits, even sour, not without an effort that is often disgraceful, almost superhuman, the implications of which only he himself knows. Thrillers are perhaps the stories that are most markedly filled with ups and downs that you obviously don’t expect – or at least shouldn’t expect. It is subtle, to say the least, the difference between a protocol story, simple, ordinary, and the legitimate classic, which the passage of years only helps to crystallize as a rare moment of brilliance by a skilled director, drawn from inspiration , and Wes Craven (1939-2015) could very well engage the autopilot and let “Night Flight” behave wherever it goes, presenting more or less predictable results despite the usual turbulence, which would require some extra expertise in setup. . Faced with the imminent disaster of no return, the pilot had only to eject the seat and save his skin, leaving the crew and the millions of passengers to their fate, who would no doubt finish the adventure alive, no doubt, but quite frustrated. .

Very confident in his talent, Craven, one of the greatest exponents of terror, ratifies the greatness of his craft and makes use of seemingly banal arguments to, very deftly, transform worthless stones into fine diamonds, impossible to ignore. Here the director, immortalized as the genius behind the series “Scream” and “A Hora do Pesadelo”, differs a little from the productions that made him famous, revered and a millionaire, but only a little. The script, by Carl Ellsworth and Dan Foos, contains a lot of nonsense and jump scares, scares that make the viewer jump out of the chair, and this is precisely where Craven navigates gallantly. Anyone who expects the carnage that goes so well in handmade feature films like “Verão do Medo” (1978) or in the even more explicit “Invitation to Hell” (1984) is disappointed and is soon forced to replace the heartache .. .for the (grateful) surprise. A risky but safe move.

A large part of the many merits of “Night Flight” belong to the surgical performance of Rachel McAdams, who throughout her career has developed a very special gift for choosing with great precision which angles of an anxious character to devote more attention to and what reference can (and often should) be made to the background. McAdams had done it the year before in “The Notebook” (2004), directed by Nick Cassavetes, and continued in “Midnight in Paris” (2011) by Woody Allen. In “Night Flight,” Lisa Reisert, the young lady of the moment, spends about two-thirds of the feature’s hour-and-a-half length a foot away from Jackson Rippner, the psychopath played by Cillian Murphy, avoiding the temptation to reject clichés that are almost useless , and who has to deal with the great responsibility of dealing with a person’s most basic emotions – hatred, anger, contempt, disgust, repressed love – which emerge mainly in times of maximum tension, such as the one he faces , to ensure that the father , Joe, by Brian Cox, doesn’t get ripped to shreds by a guy holding him at gunpoint across the street from their house, God knows why. Lisa trusts her feelings, her instincts; he prefers to believe that Joe is the loving man he’s lived with since his parents divorced, though it’s understood that there are lumps in this mess that are hard to swallow. In the middle of the game he takes another traultada. A plan is afoot to execute Charles Keefe, US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, with the loving participation of Jack Scalia, as he passes through Miami. Keefe will be staying at the hotel where McAdams’ character is the head receptionist, and it was up to poor Lisa to authorize the change of location for the big shot so that the service, also commanded by Murphy’s antagonist, will be fail-safe.

Speaking of lapses, “Night Flight” isn’t perfect, of course. In addition to the mystery that hangs over the figure of the father – who certainly has some involvement in the attempted assassination of the high-ranking official, which has never been clarified – an incredible amateurism is evident in the character of Rippner, a very poorly designed terrorist for the mission , you have been entrusted. Despite the creative freedom of the text of Ellsworth and Foos, the result, characterized by a deus ex machina solution, by a puerile inconsistency, reinforces the false solutions that only lead to more entanglements, privileging the very variables that for a short time, they did not throw everything away. The sequences on the plane are very well filmed and the millimetric framing Craven chooses removes any suggestion that it is just a plastic and rubber corridor surrounded by tons of aluminum. The best of the worst of “Night Flight” is really the strength of the odd couple formed by Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy, which strengthens the aura of open secrets in this work of Wes Craven. These minimal details, which would detract from the film, end up being overcome thanks to the impeccable way in which the director steers his story towards a happy ending, paradoxical as it may sound.

Movie: Night flight
Direction: Wes Craven
Year: 2005
genres: Thriller/Mystery
Note: 8/10

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