Review: ‘Passenger 57’

Passenger 57 is a reasonably saucy action tale that runs out of gas before landing.

Passenger 57 is a reasonably saucy action tale that runs out of gas before landing.

At least the filmmakers have the good sense to acknowledge the scenario’s absurdity when an airline exec questions the logic, after the fact, of transporting a known hijacker (Bruce Payne) by air.

With his henchmen disguised as crew members, Payne seizes the jet, murdering the FBI agents and pilot. That leaves it to newly hired airline security expert Wesley Snipes (cutting his teeth as a big-time action hero) to try and stop them, however burdened by the inconvenient emotional baggage of having watched his wife’s murder under similar circumstances.

Snipes seems to relish his opportunity to play this cross between John Shaft and Die Hard’s John McClane, but script [from Stewart Raffill and Dan Gordon’s story] doesn’t give him much room to operate. Payne’s hissable villain contributes greatly to maintaining the film’s intensity.

Passenger 57

Production

Warner. Director Kevin Hooks; Producer Lee Rich, Dan Paulson, Dylan Sellers; Screenplay David Loughery, Dan Gordon; Camera Mark Irwin; Editor Richard Nord; Music Stanley Clarke; Art Director Jaymes Hinkle

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Wesley Snipes Bruce Payne Tom Sizemore Alex Datcher Bruce Greenwood Elizabeth Hurley
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