When Bernie (Hoffman), a cynical petty criminal, finds himself reluctantly saving passengers from a crashed plane, little does he realise that his momentarily selfless actions will change lives, including his own. For one thing, a survivor - star TV reporter Gale Gayley (Davis) sets up a search for the anonymous 'angel of flight 204', with the result that John Bubber (Garcia) - a charismatic Vietvet down-and-out - usurps the real hero's place in the hearts of the public. For another, since Bernie's toils delayed a visit to his estranged wife (Cusack) and young son, he's in the doghouse... Intelligently written but clumsily executed, Frears' comedy-drama is frustratingly uneven. Besides a smattering of good gags, David Webb Peoples' script touches on numerous intriguing questions (notably, what constitutes heroism?) while piling irony upon irony. But while Garcia waxes credibly sincere, Hoffman hams, and Davis simply looks lost: small wonder, given Frears' leaden direction, which contrives to scupper suspense and comedy through sluggish pacing and misguided camera placement.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||David Webb Peoples|
Kevin J O'Connor