The plot that fails to travel well
ALL-American hero foils cold-hearted intellectual European terrorist by using blood and guts to win out over calculating sadism.
Ring a bell? This is, of course, the plot of that excellent action block-buster, Die Hard. It is also the plot of Passenger 57, a film doing extraordinarily well at the box-office in the US, which goes to show it is hard to have too much of a violent thing.
And there is plenty of violence in this hijack adventure, including two innocents being shot in the temple from point-blank range, lots of tight shots of chests being churned up by Uzis and plenty of martial arts action.
Playing the all-American hero is Wesley Snipes, whose character goes by the name of John Cutter (who thinks up these butch names?), an anti-terrorism expert with a penchant for wearing overly-tight T-shirts and a scowl that would turn milk sour.
Cutter is having more than a little trouble getting over his wife's violent death, so his friend Sly Delvecchio (Tom Sizemore) helps him out by getting him a top job in anti-terrorism with a major airline.
Reluctantly, he agrees, but on the flight to his new job the plane is hijacked by top terrorist Charles Rane and his band of ruthless killers.
While all this is happening, Cutter is in the lavatory.
From this point on the film focuses on the confrontation between the hot-tempered Cutter and the vicious yet sophisticated Rane. The action is fast and furious, the acting passable and the fight sequences well choreographed, but Passenger 57 has nothing new to say and manages to find no new way of saying it.