WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
It’s a rare thing for me to be left utterly dumbfounded by a movie. Amused? Sometimes. Confused? Occasionally. Angry? Fairly often. But dumbfounded is a feeling only brought on by particular kinds of movies, and Airborne just happens to be one of those movies. It starts off as a simplistic post-911 action thriller, but somehow, through various twists and turns, lands up being a pseudo-mythological, demonic possession movie. It’s quite astounding, really. And then there’s the foreboding. This movie has more dramatic foreboding in it than the Twilight movies had stares. The only way it could have been less subtle is if they had a full orchestra go into full swing every time the camera settled on someone’s face. Don’t believe me? Then read on, dear reader, and for the truly brave, perhaps you can give it a watch.
It’s a frightfully stormy day in Merry Old England, and due to an approaching storm (which, by the looks of the radar images we’re shown from time to time, appears to be a hurricane larger than the British Isles) all flights out of Heathrow have been cancelled. All except one, of course. Onto this plane assembles the largest group of misfits you can imagine: soldiers fresh off a tour in Iraq and accused of using excessive force, an Godfather-type and his two cronies, a raging alcoholic, a doctor accused of malpractice, and a sudden replacement air steward that no one has ever met. Oh yeah, and that mysterious crate that gives off funny noises and occasionally jumps around that’s under the special protection of the British government. With all of this to consider, what could possibly go wrong?
The flight starts out nicely enough. The alcoholic awakens with a raging hangover, the Godfather behaves in a typically refined-yet-thuggish manner, and two randy love birds get it on in a tiny bathroom. It’s exactly the sort of thing you’d expect on such a midnight flight. But something is terribly amiss. You know this because the love birds land up being bludgeoned to death and the plane makes a mysterious and unreported change in flight path. Not that flight control back in Britain seems to be overly alarmed. Apparently it’s quite normal for planes to change direction and go to Florida instead of New York without checking in with anyone. Back on the plane, people are starting to disappear at an alarming rate, and even our motley crew of passengers knows that people do not simply disappear while you’re flying however-many-thousands of feet above the ground.
The foreboding is cranked into high gear when suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the most top secretist agents in all of Britain take over the flight control centre and threaten to have the Americans blow the plane out of the sky unless they can get someone to respond. Back on the plane, a hostage situation develops over the content of the crate, which turns out to be a Chinese vase worth over $ 10 million. But something isn’t adding up about this hostage situation: the two hostage takers cannot account for all the dead people, which means that something else has been killing off the passengers (and the pilots) while they weren’t looking. Hypothetically this third-party may or may not be the spirit of a Chinese deity that was imprisoned in the vase and is busy looking for a human host that he can possess. Once this has hypothetically happened and he has found the ideal host he will be able to take over the world and fulfill the Mayan 2012 Doomsday prophecy. Can our hapless group of hostages stand up to the might of an ancient Chinese deity and save the world from absolute destruction? Probably not: the foreboding’s gonna slow them down too much.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Britain’s just a breeding ground for conspicuous Godfather-types.
- Britain’s also home to several pockets of irritatingly chatty, global warming-obsessed geography teachers.
- Air stewards must be proficient in mixing drinks and performing sleeper holds.
- If a drunk irritates them enough, flight stewards can be made to break standard health and safety procedures.
- Complimentary drinks are usually all it takes to quell an uprising of plane passengers.
- Most air stewardesses know which two wires to cross to make a plane just drop out of the sky.
- The Chinese gods and Mayan priests were in cahoots when it came to the 2012 prophecy.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I know it’s not a horror movie, made on a tiny budget or generally shunned like most of the movies I watch, but there was a reason Tropical Mary and I watched this (with the Stygian Mole for backup): it was absolutely perfect for our series of Historically Inaccurate movies. Greek history is more Tropical Mary’s thing than mine, but after watching this we were both deeply insulted and hurt on a moral and ethical level. Granted, this movie is only meant to be loosely based on the myths of Theseus and the Titanomachy, but this is only true in the same sense that The Sims is loosely based on real life situations. In the wise words of Tropical Mary, a coffee table with a picture book of Greek history on it would have learned more through osmosis than these people did. I’m not going to give this movie a review, as such, because everyone and their grandmother has already done that; instead I’m going to provide you with our collective stream of thought from the beginning of the movie right up until the end.
THE COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS OF THE B-HORROR BLOG & TROPICAL MARY:
– In the beginning, there was The Cube, or hamster cage, or divine foosball table.
– Why is this hell hole modelled on the Pantheon?
– Mount Tartaros? How’d we get from the centre of the earth to a mountain with an amazing view of nothing?
– A Sibylline Monastery in the Greek Dark Ages? There are so many things wrong with that.
– I can see Theseus’ lips moving, but all I’m hearing is ‘I’m as gay as a fruitcake!’
– Why is this one wearing a shell loin cloth?
– This holy labyrinth could really do with a little colour on the wall.
– This movie is really just an epic tale about stupid hats.
– OK, so they’re caravanning to Tartaros? Why would you wanna do that?
– For such a terrible time in history, the dark ages came equipped with good plumbing.
– Why’s Mystique in this movie?
– Oh wait, it’s just the STRICTLY VIRGIN Athena running around half-naked.
– For someone who’s the king of the gods, Zeus is very baby-faced. Good stylish stubble though.
– Why would the Greeks have an Apis Bull of all things lying around?
– For a period that was known for geometric art, these sculptures are really life-like.
– You can’t walk ten feet in this movie without coming across a well with crystal clear water in it.
– A special weapon that you have to get out of a stone? I wonder where they got that idea from…
– Good to see that the citrus fruit trade is alive and well shortly after the Dorian Invasion.
– How are their monks running around?
– “Witness Hell”? How can they do that when they don’t know what hell is?
– There’s nothing quite as pretty as a virgin oracle wearing a giant lampshade.
– Me: “Why is Poseidon wearing giant earmuffs?” Stygian Mole: “Because he’s moonlighting as Lady Gaga’s backup dancer.”
– OK, so Poseidon went from being Zeus’ brother to Zeus’ son? Sure, why not.
– Mickey Rourke really needs to learn how to speak.
– Blood letting = correct burial rites.
– Why is the Minotaur a dude in a barbwire mask? And come to think of it, where the hell is Minos?
– Oracles shall henceforth be reclassified as ‘Rooi Rok Bokkies’ (watch this video for explanation).
– This virgin oracle’s about to have her visions defiled.
– The venus flytrap hat isn’t doing anything for this guy.
– Slow roasted faux oracles cook best in their own juices.
– How the hell’d they manage to get a hyena?
– Hat envy is the real reason everyone’s going to war.
– Good plan: Kill the god of war before going to war. Great job guys!
– They have a Hellenic Council? Really? Before they called themselves Hellenes?
– Movie: “He’s brought the olive branch of peace.” Stygian Mole: “Lies! It’s the poison ivy branch of trickery!”
– Why is there Elvish written all over these walls?
– Hyperion – the reason we can’t have nice things!
– This is a very loose phalanx formation.
– I guess every kingdom has to have a secret stairway to the main complex that isn’t at all guarded.
– Who thought it was a good idea to make armor that bends?
– These Titans clearly haven’t been given their rabies shots; they’ve all gone feral.
– These gods haven’t a single useful weapon among them.
– Surely it would have helped to bring the other 7 gods with you? Even if Hestia baked a cake, it would still be something.
– Athena’s kung fu fighting. That girl’s as fast as lightning.
– For immortal beings these gods are actually incredibly mortal.
– The greatest tragedy of all is this movie’s dialogue.
– Doing great things means you get rewarded with an ugly kid and a place among the gods.
– I do love a good pop-up frieze.
– The end.
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