Red Eye is a bit of a departure for director Wes Craven, whose films tend to be of the mad slasher variety (the Scream movies, Nightmare on Elm Street). While Scream is meant as an ironic semi-spoof of the genre, it is gratuitously violent and misogynistic. In Red Eye, Craven moves to a more mainstream thriller, and his protagonist, Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams of Mean Girls, The Notebook and Wedding Crashers), is a woman who can take care of business.
The title refers to the late night flight on which Lisa, a hotel executive who is afraid to fly, rushes back to her hectic job. The consummate workaholic, Lisa fields cell phone calls from a harried reservations clerk (Jayma Mays) and offers calm, direct advice. In her world of reservations, last minute changes and whining guests, Lisa is an oasis of—well, not calm, but composure. Look up "grace under fire," and you'll find Lisa's picture.
In her working world, she is completely in charge. There are no boorish complainers in her cosmos, only clients with "special needs." Everybody comes away feeling that they have gotten what they want. She is able to see every conflict as a management issue and takes no personal offense when a guest whines like a spoiled child. Her ability to manage the most demanding customers gives her a sense of power and invincibility.
But those strengths will soon be tested by a fellow traveler, Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy, Batman Begins), who at first seems charming enough when she meets him in the airport ticket line. Flights have been canceled or rerouted, and tempers flare. But Rippner intervenes when an irate gasbag holds up the line by berating a frazzled clerk. He handles the bully with calm words—without threatening him, but making ...1
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