Director: Alex Tavakoli
There are few airplanes that I wish to be indefinitely grounded, but the private jet appearing in the blockbuster movie Skybound is certainly one of them. If only ground control had checked the acting skills of the pilots and the security settings of the script, the movie would never have got off the ground. But it did and, after 80-odd minutes trapped in the aircraft with not so much as inflight music and a bloody mary, I am none the wiser, not knowing how the movie finishes.
Whilst I agree that spending an awful lot of money on making a film does not always guarantee success, there are certain ingredients that make up a movie that cost absolutely nothing and may be the difference between success and failure. A good script and credible acting by professional actors who have spent at least a couple of hours a week at a local drama society would be much better than a badly acted love triangle and a flawed doomsday scenario.
Two stinkingly rich brothers, Matt (Rick Cosnett) and Kyle (Gavin Stenhouse) – who just happen to have a pilot’s license – decide to go for a spin with their friends in daddy’s luxury private jet. They set off from New York with the firm intention of being in Los Angeles by daybreak. It doesn’t quite turn out that way, of course. No sooner they had admired New York’s illuminated skyline, than the plane starts to run into technical problems with key instruments showing blank screens. Matt decides to go in the cargo hold to check things out and comes face to face with an apocalyptic piece of luggage carrying a gun.
The acting in the movie is, with hindsight, quite unnerving, with all protagonists seeming to discover the plot as they go along and taking us with them. At least the dumb blonde Roxy (Carla Carolina Pimentel) suddenly remembers how good she was at sixth form maths and decides (after having ingested two double vodkas) to calculate how far the plane can travel with the remaining fuel, using logarithms and algorithms. I always said that school maths would come in handy one day. But at least she’s one up on Lisa (Scarlett Byrne), a brunette who doesn’t even remember that she brought her cell phone with her until her dad calls. As luck would have it, the battery runs out and the plane is mysteriously devoid of USB slots that no one thought of using anyway.
Skybound left me with a sense of claustrophobia due to my being enclosed in a confined space for 82 minutes with a bunch of underpaid actors who browse through yesterday’s newspapers trying to find out what the hell is happening. Or was that the script? After having rid the plane of its luxury interior without breaking sweat, Matt decides to step outside to get rid of one of the engines with nonchalant ease before leaving the set completely. I don’t blame him, either. He had just witnessed his acting career vanish beyond the clouds. Trying to be reunited with his long-lost brother, Matt delivers a monologue that would have had its place during Britain’s darkest hours.
We can fight, fight our way back into the light! We can climb out of this tomb, even if we’re scared, and desperate, and the only way to do it sounds insane!
We can’t let our egos get in the way anymore, Kyle. You and I need to work as brothers or we will die as individuals.
Insanity being the key word, here!
But it is not all bad news. Our intrepid group of youngsters end up on a Hawaian beach without a scratch between them, as if nothing had happened. This is no spoiler because having watched the film to the end, I still don’t know how they got there and all were lying on the beach in exactly the same position.
Skybound does have one thing going for it – 82 minutes long, it did not outstay its welcome.