In the previews for Flightplan they show Jodie Foster on an airplane claiming she has lost her daughter. They then show one of the flight crew explaining to Jodie Foster that her daughter was never on board the plane. And with that, there are no surprises in the film.
Her daughter not being on the passenger list/flight manifest might have made for a good surprise ending à la The Sixth Sense or something, but if they are using it in the commercials then you know it isn’t the surprise ending but a twist found somewhere between the opening and the end credits. But if it is not the surprise ending, then you automatically know the daughter is real.
Mental psychosis plays well for an ending, but in the middle, it has to be a ploy to divert the audience’s attention so that they can again surprise us with the daughter having really been taken. And if someone took her then there must be some kind of terrorist plotting.
And really if I can figure this stuff out by the previews, anybody can. Because I’m totally not the sort who figures stuff out on my own.
Unfortunately, those surprises are all the film has going for it. In a film where you know where it’s going to wind up, it’s the getting there that has to be good, and this film never quite makes the ride interesting. It’s more like a real transatlantic flight – long, tiring, and your legs feel all tired out by the time it ends.
Jodie Foster and Peter Sarsgaard are fine actors and they do their best with the material, but there just isn’t enough there.
It is the kind of film where I found myself yelling at the television over the extensive amount of plot holes, and stupidity of the characters until I fell asleep from exhaustion.