You're an eleven-year-old kid living in the countryside and some bad guys come and kill your entire family. Now they are coming for you. What do you do? If you're any able-bodied kid there is only one option: Run!
And that's exactly what Vito (Manuel Calao) does in this stimulating but conventional Italian film. From start to finish Vito is on the run from his would be killers. But there is an extra wrinkle; early on, in the first chase, Vito encounters a young boy who has been kidnapped and being held for ransom. Vito sees the boy shot and in a moment of panic Vito grabs the boys backpack and runs away to a nearby village.
Vito then takes a train to Rome to stay with his older cousin – who's clearly involved in some underground activity. More trouble comes and Vito runs to the police who take him to an orphanage, but he is soon snatched by his cousin's friend, who wants to know if Vito has his cousin's stash of cash. Ultimately, Vito heads to the one place he feels destined to: the family of the young boy who had been kidnapped and killed.
This was the feature debut by Italian director Carlo Carei (who at the time was hailed as a hot young director but who went on to directed a film titled Fluke) and it has good cinematography, fine editing and plenty of flashy, fresh film school type cinematic tricks.
Overall, Flight of the Innocent is a well-made, dark, fairy tale with a pretty obvious narrative. Vito is a totally innocent kid who has big brown eyes and usually looks confused or scared. The bad guys are really bad (the main one has a huge scar) and the violence they commit is extra brutal and bloody; they shoot a mother hanging white laundry, they shoot a kid sleeping in his bed, etc. Throughout the whole ordeal we want poor Vito to get to safety. And his resourcefulness keeps him alive. But Vito is destined to meet face to face with these bad guys and in due course he does in an ending that is both preposterous and slightly precarious.