It's kind of funny that Uwe Boll, who has directed less than 10 films, has become so infamous so quickly for churning out such low-grade cinematic junk -- when a guy like Jim Wynokrski has been doing it for more than two decades and 65 movies! Crossing several genres, a fistful of pseudonyms, and more Z-grade schlock-piles than Dr. Boll could dream of, Jim Wynorski has directed Deathstalker 2, Sorority House Massacre 2, Dinosaur Island, Body Chemistry 3, Ghoulies 4, The Bare Wench Project, Cheerleader Massacre, and Komodo vs. Cobra -- and those are some of the "good" ones.
So when I saw the pseudonym "Jay Andrews" in front of the low-rent "action" movie Crash Landing, I wasn't fooled. I knew it was my old pal Wynorski. This time around Jim's working with a 75th generation Die Hard concept, a pair of semi-famous names like Antonio Sabato Jr. and Michael Paré, and a really unconvincing airplane set.
The flick opens with a series of entirely random (and therefore rather amusing) murder scenes. One gal takes a bath with a curling iron, another pair shoot off of a clifftop thanks to a severed brake line. A little later on we find out that the recently-demised women were all flight attendants. And slowly all three of the puzzle pieces come together: A charter flight containing the daughter of a very wealthy businessman is about to be hijacked ... and only "Masters" (Antonio Sabato Jr.) can save the day! (The fact that the head hijacker is as intimidating as Tony Shalhoub adds nothing to the intensity of the affair.)
So we ramble through the very dull "thwart the kidnappers" stage of the film, and just when you start to wonder "Hey, wasn't Michael Paré supposed to be in this movie?" -- the guy shows up as an army captain who must build a really quick runway if he wants to accomodate the incoming airliner. Oh, and it's raining really bad, too. Just to add a little extra tension.
Really, you've seen all of this stuff before, only not with dialogue this outrageously stupid or performances this embarrasingly ripe. (The young lady who plays the intended kidnapee delivers her lines as if she can't wait to get off camera.) Frankly, if you can sit through the whole of Crash Landing without chuckling at the flick's bald-faced ineptitude, then you're a kinder movie-watcher than I am. (Either that or the movie put you to sleep.)
Video: A fairly flat and undazzling widescreen transfer. Looks about the same as it would on TV. Like, basic cable TV.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, with optional Spanish subtitles. Audio quality is passable enough, provided you actually want to hear the dialogue.
Extras: Just a handful of Echo Bridge trailers.
There's fun junk and then there's just plain junk. Despite a few unintentionally hilarious lines of dialogue and "out to lunch" acting performances, Crash Landing is more witlessly tiresome than it is schlockily entertaining.
Plus, I think we can finally put the Die Hard concept to bed already, can't we?