Flight 1942 (2016) review

Flight 1942 (2016) review

But.. it's set in 1940...

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I had a good feeling about the plot for this hokum B-movie before I started watching it. What’s not to like about a film where a commercial airplane from 2015 travels back in time to the middle of World War 2 and has to find a way back home?

Then the opening credits kicked in and the words “The Asylum” flashed up on the screen. Oh dear. This might not go as well as I had hoped.

Now, an obvious trick has been missed immediately, because the airplane goes back to 1940, rather than the more obvious choice of 1942. why call your film Flight 1942 if you’re not sending them back to that year?

With that point aside, you know what to expect from an Asylum movie. Some ludicrous plot point will drive the story, the special effects will look like a low quality 2004 era video game, and the performances will be earnest but incapable of making the final product worthwhile.

Aside from the fact the plane has travelled back in time, there’s little else to the plot. Characters are underdeveloped and have no depth besides being basic stereotypes and archetypes – the good looking air hostess; the older air hostess; the angry man; the soldier; the pilot. It is just 85 minutes of people getting upset about being over war-torn Europe, and occasionally being attacked by the Nazis, who have missile and jet technology at their disposal. Hmm.

The best parts of the film are when we cut to the British and the Germans on the ground. In both cases efforts have been made to emphasises which side they are on – the Brits have Union Jack flags plastered everywhere, while the Nazis have swastikas over everything, even the radio equipment. It’s so laughably bad it’s actually really entertaining. Sadly it’s not clear if this was intentional or not. If it was, it’s simply genius.

Otherwise, I can’t say there was anything that really stood out enough for me to suggest watching it. It lacks the charm and stupidity of other Asylum productions, and also misses several opportunities to have fun with the concept.

The key ingredient missing is emotional depth. Seeing as they’re cardboard cutouts, there’s no reason to care about the characters or their predicament. They all go through the motions trying to work out what to do next, but other than an angry outburst from one passenger (“Let’s kill Hitler!”) there’s no real emotion behind any of it.

There are more issues with the script. The initial conceit is that they have travelled back in time, but then it ties itself in knots. It can’t make its mind up about whether this is an alternate reality or that their journey back in time is predetermined. On arriving in the past they discover that Dunkirk was a disaster for the Allies and nearly half a million were lost. So tell me, if this isn’t an alternate reality, why is their history and level of technology different? It doesn’t make any sense. Then again, what else would you expect from another hastily prepared Asylum production?

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Flight 1942 (2016)
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