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Red Eye (2005)

Fear Takes Flight

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 85 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A


I’m a big fan of Cillian Murphy. The floppy-haired Irish pretty boy has been in a number of great films already, including 28 Weeks Later, Inception, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and Girl With a Pearl Earing, to name a few. With this in mind I raided a playlist of Cillian Murphy films and found Red Eye, which turned out to be a deeply flawed thriller ironically ruined by Murphy, or his character at least.

Murphy is Jackson Rippner (what kind of name is that?), the middleman in an attempt to assassinate a Homeland Security official (Scalia). His job is to become best buddies with Lisa Reisert (MacAdams) – the senior reservations clerk of the hotel where the target is due to stop for the night – and join her on a late night flight. Once he has her cornered he announces that he has her Dad (Cox) under surveillance and if she doesn’t ring the hotel and move the official into a room that’s in the path of a rocket launcher, he’ll do Daddy in.

So far, so good. The only problem is that Jackson is about as threatening as Gok Wan. At every step he’s out muscled, out thought and out-run by a mere girl as he lurches around like Frankenstein’s monster. The lack of any danger leads to a drawn out boring chase where you can envisage nothing but a happy ending. This isn’t how it’s meant to happen. Either, you need an unstoppable assailant like The Terminator or Max Cady in Cape Fear or you need the two to be evenly matched as they trade blows. However, Rachel MacAdams does put in a good performance to portray Lisa as a vulnerable yet strong lead female.

On top of this, the plot’s a bit nonsensical as it all seems to be a bit far-fetched. What’s wrong with just a good old prank call to change the room is the fashion of a schoolboy truant? Or what about a far simpler way of killing him – like hiring Jackie Chan? Anyhow, it’s a disappointing exploration into thriller territory from master of horror Wes Craven.

It's Got: A strong female lead, Cillian Murphy's worst role to date, tips on how to ward off an attacker when only armed with a BIC pen.

It Needs: A sense of threat, a more complex storyline

DVD Extras Just enough for a lightweight film, including a commentary, 'Wes Craven: A New Kind of Thriller' featurette and a gag reel. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10


A rare turkey for Cillian Murphy as Wes Craven flounders in his first exploration into thriller territory. Bog standard at best.