Movie Review: Air Collision (2012)

Film School. Over the past few decades it’s been increasing in its popularity. You can find film programs at most colleges and universities nowadays, highly enrolled with fully functional equipment rooms. Many are drawn to film classes, whether or not they are in the major. Yet, many of the most basic classes induce eye-rolls in students. The Simpsons taught us the 180 rule, and modern editing is intrinsic in our movie-watching minds. It seems redundant to spell it out. But is it? Is it really?

After watching Air Collision, I’m going to say the answer to that question is a resounding no. Film school is still necessary, and attending will probably leave you totally capable of directing a film for Asylum. But in a post-Tim & Eric world, the comedy of editing is an art to be savored. Air Collision flies the jump cut further than Godard could have dreamed possible, to the level of a Martin Arnold breakdown. Is it on purpose or for lack of better judgement? We may never know. It really only lasts the first 20 minutes of the film, but that’s more than enough to make some headway into in the highly improbable plot. Once you’ve waded deep into the middle of the action of Air Collision you won’t need 20 jump cuts a minute to keep you entertained.

Let me break this movie down for you: When some purple happens in space, which may or may not be the second coming, all the satellites fall out of the sky and come crashing down onto earth and destroying a few cities. Because there’s no more satellites, airplanes stop working. Luckily, there are only two planes in the sky at this precise time. Unluckily, one of those planes is AIR FORCE ONE. Super mega unluckily, these two planes appear to be headed straight at each other, in the sky. To save the lives of the president and everyone else on board, they need to reverse this plane.

Honestly, Air Collision is continuously hysterical from start to finish.  The plot, which you probably inferred from my nonsensical synopsis, only gets more bizarre as the film progresses. Due to the lost satellites, Air Force One is on lockdown from their new in-flight security and autopiloting system, A-CAT MUNSYS (you know, they have security just in case Gary Oldman hijacks the plane). There’s no threat, but the thing is malfunctioning like nobody’s business, going as far as shooting down any nearby aircraft after mislabeling everything as an aggressor, whether or not it’s 400 miles away. And it has locked all the doors, which is a crucial conflict of the film. I suggest, for an Air Collision drinking game, do a shot every time someone has a dramatic encounter with a door.

Meanwhile, the commercial flight on a collision course with AF1 isn’t doing any better, and in fact, in terms of real life existence and the way of science and reality, the passenger plane probably should have hit the ground in a flaming fireball roughly 10 minutes into the film. The pilots of this plane should be congratulated and studied for their quick thinking and aeronautic skill. Not only did they fly the plane for over five minutes without any power, but they restarted the engines by shaking the plane back and forth, and then continued flying the plane as if nothing had happened.

So, I highly recommend Air Collision. It’s taught many valuable life lessons, and thrilled and amused.  If you had any fears about flying before, you can now rest assured that even if the engines on your plane stop and then it is hit by a missile, in the end everything will be fine, and your pilot will continue your flight along to its destination.

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