Shaky script makes for bumpy flight
Starring Ray Liotta and Lauren Holly
Directed by Robert Butler
At Famous Players 6, 9:30 p.m.
A whole lotta shakin' goin' on is a good description of the basic theme of Turbulence.
This vibrating journey takes place aboard a 747 travelling from New York to Los Angeles carrying two death row-bound criminals who hijack the plane and leave the auto-pilot to fly into a severe storm.
To make matters worse, one of the criminals, Ryan Weaver (Ray Liotta), the convicted "Lonely Hearts Strangler," is intent on crashing the plane into Los Angeles' LAX airport as he finds death row unappealing to his tastes.
However, Weaver's attempts are constantly thwarted by a vulnerable yet strong-minded flight attendant, the Lauren Holly-portrayed Teri Halloran, who spends most of the movie jumping between keeping the plane in the air and fighting off Weaver.
The bulk of the film is spent inside the passenger cabin of the plane featuring an overabundance of lightning flashes, turbulence and festive lighting which make the many physical struggles between Weaver and Halloran difficult to follow. Fortunately for the viewer, these scenes are only there to add some excitement and realism to the flight.
Turbulence is billed as a special effects roller-coaster ride similar to last year's blockbuster Twister . Like Twister, the film successfully uses visual effects as a focus away from the story. The exterior view of the plane flying through the storm looks very real, though beyond that, the movie is no more than an attraction suitable for theme parks like Universal Studios.
One bright spot in Turbulence is the acting. Liotta's character is charming and witty, bringing both Halloran and the viewer under his spell and making everyone believe he is as innocent as he claims to be. However, we begin to see the real Weaver emerge halfway through the film a psychopath who plays on the insecurities of his female victims.
Weaver is a similar character to Liotta's role in the 1992 thriller Unlawful Entry, where he played a cop stalking a married woman. His naturally dark appearance and ability to create a menacing facade make the viewer realize his characters, although charming on the outside, have a frightening and evil interior.
Holly's role is definitely a step-up from her part as a kidnapped millionaire's wife in Dumb and Dumber. However, we will not see her become the Hollywood sweetheart Sandra Bullock did after Speed because her character does not come across as the sweet all-American girl-next-door-turned heroine. Holly does, however, give a competent performance as a vulnerable and independent woman who turns into an aggressive and heroic person when necessary.
Turbulence will not stir up too many emotions but at least the lineup to see it will be shorter than the ones for theme park roller-coasters.
Gazette File Photo
WHEN DAVID BANNER GETS ANGRY.... Ray Liotta doing his best Incredible Hulk impersonation in Turbulence