Collision Course

Tia Carrere (RELIC HUNTER) is Karen Black in AIRPORT 1975 in this skybound disaster movie from the director of AIR RAGE and BIKINI AIRWAYS. She plays the author of a book about her pilot husband’s death in a plane crash and her accusation of an airline cover-up. Before boarding a flight home to Long Beach from Chicago, she meets-cute an airline vice president (BAYWATCH’s David Chokachi), who also happens to be the (solo) flight attendant, because that’s what VPs often do. A solar flare (!) zaps the cockpit, electrocuting the pilot and putting the co-pilot into a coma, leaving it to neophyte Carrere to land the jet. Director Fred Olen Ray was a lot better at these cheap direct-to-video thrillers ten years earlier, when he had access to 35mm cameras (this film looks like a soap opera), more imaginative visual effects (the CGI is rotten), and more seasoned actors in supporting roles. There is nothing original or interesting about this predictable and derivative story, which stokes fake tension through two redneck characters who call a Middle Eastern passenger “Obama” and accuse him of being a terrorist. In his haste to get the film in the can, Ray makes little effort to depict a believable flight, and all the passengers seem surprisingly blase about their plight. Ray wastes a lot of time on the ground with Dee Wallace (CUJO) and her “whatEVER” teenage granddaughter worrying about Tia. Good thing they don’t know she’s flying the plane. Ray repertory player Tim Abell appears to be aging into Tom Berenger.