Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
|Featuring:||Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Erika Christensen, Sean Bean, Haley Ramm|
“She designed the plane from top to bottom. Now she’ll have to tear it apart.”
A mother’s love is unconditional. As God’s love is for us. A Mother’s love is steadfast, unlimited, tender and never ending. Just as God’s love is for us. A Mother’s love is also fierce, staying close to protect, even unto her own death, if need be, to save her child. As Jesus has proven to us with His sacrificial love for us and fierce defense for us against the devil himself!
Kyle Pratt (another exceptional character study by Jodie Foster) has just lost her husband in a seemingly accidental fall from the roof of their Berlin apartment building. Now grieving and alone with her six year old daughter in Germany, she is further burdened with the responsibility to accompany her husband’s remains back to the United States for burial.
Both mother and daughter are emotionally fragile, but the bond is strong as we watch them cling to what normalcy they have left. Little Julia (Marlene Lawston) is so scared to go outside to the waiting taxi and on to the airport, that she has to hide beneath her mother’s coat. A sweet depiction of how we are sheltered beneath the loving wings of the mother who knows our needs and puts them before her own heart.
The tension mounts as Kyle loses track of Julia while waiting at the ticket desk in an incredibly crowded Berlin airport. Reprimanding her and making sure Jules understands, without doubt, that she must never stray again. They make it onto the flight before any of the other passengers. When little Jules expresses her fear about the ice and snow clinging to the plane, Kyle soothes and assures her daughter by explaining what de-icing the plane is. Mom knows every inch of this in particular airbus, as she was working in Germany to complete it. Kyle Pratt is an expert propulsion engineer.
As mother and daughter settle in, Kyle breathes on the window as Jules traces a small heart. As her etching evaporates, Kyle comforts her daughter by whispering, “Just sleep and when we wake up we’ll be somewhere else.” After the emotional strife they have endured in the last week, to be somewhere else is undoubtably the subconscious dream of them both.
Three hours into the flight Kyle awakens to find her daughter has mysteriously disappeared. As she enlists the help of stewardesses and passengers alike in finding Jules, the moments become more and more intense, building up to the most unthinkable notion—Julia Pratt was never on board this plane from the beginning!
Captain Rich (Sean Bean from “The Lord of The Rings”) informs the near hysterical Kyle that Julia was not on the passenger manifest nor listed at the departure gate. Even after identifying that Kyle Pratt hasn’t even a boarding pass for her daughter, Captain Rich is still persuaded to conduct a complete search of the aircraft “nose to tail” for the nonexistent Jules. In the end, the horrifying news is reported from the German Hospital Kyle’s husband was taken to after his fatal plunge, that Julia Pratt was taken in that night too. David Pratt, it seems, took her with him when he jumped off that roof—they list her as having died of internal injuries!
Nearly out of control and under duress, the crew has no option but to assume the little girl has been imagined, “…we’re looking for a child that none of us believe was ever on board!” All believing this hallucination a defense mechanism sparked in the mind of a woman unable to deal with such devastating grief. Kyle is put under the care of the aircraft’s Air Marshall, Gene Carson (Peter Sarsgaard) to make sure she doesn’t continue in her delusional quest to find a child that only exists in the mind of a despondent mother.
“Flight Plan” takes off from this point into the sky of captivating thriller as super mom, Kyle Pratt commences on a relentless search for the daughter she knows is real flesh and blood! Convinced there is more to her quest than just finding her daughter, Kyle concludes they are part of an elaborate plot to skyjack the plane, using her daughter as bait and her intimate knowledge of the aircraft. The trick is, getting the 425 terrified passengers, the Captain, crew, and the smug Air Marshall to believe her.
There are some pretty tense moments, so for younger kids PG-13 is to be taken seriously. Mom and Dad should accompany any children younger than 15. Some language is used sparingly: 2 sh*t and twice for “God da_n it.” There is a scene where the mother is hit and falls against a seat rendering her unconscious. Some blood and passengers pushing and yelling. There isn’t much violence considering the story line. This film is 99% emotional thrills.
Shown in the plot and characters in “Flight Plan” is the courage and tenacity of parenthood. To be a parent and to have lost a child in the store or in a crowd, I have no problem relating to Kyle Pratt’s determination to find her daughter. Christian parents may have one up on her, though, as we rely on God and answered prayer in times of trouble. As the Psalmist says: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the Earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with surging.”
Tough, edgy, and frightening, “Flight Plan” keeps your attention as each minute elevates the audience to yet another level of stirring intrigue. A tight thriller, Jodie Foster keeps it all together until the truly explosive conclusion. What we applaud in her character is a woman who refuses to accept “calm down, let us guys take care of it” as an answer in a moment of crisis.
Not that this woman has strength that is hers alone, as we know our strength comes from God. Her character does set an example of Jesus’ relentless and fierce care for us and just how far he will go to rescue us from evil.
At times God will lead people to do things that are impossible to do in our own strength. But God will grant victory, step by step, through his strength within us. When God’s strength indwells us, nothing is an impossibility, but rather an absolute certainty. Pray we never discount what is possible with God (Phil. 4:13).
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.