Flight of the Phoenix
dir. Moore
Opens Fri Dec 17
Various Theaters

The original 1965 Flight of the Phoenix was a tale of desert survival starring some of the greatest actors of the age, including Jimmy Stewart, Richard Attenborough, and Ernest Borgnine--and it still wasn't all that great. That's why it's all the more baffling why anyone would want to remake it, especially with some of the not-so-great actors of our age: Dennis Quaid, Giovanni Ribisi, and rapper Sticky Fingaz. What, was Ghostface Killa too busy?

In this version, the action takes place in Mongolia and pilot Frank Towns (Quaid) is scheduled to fly a gang of laid-off oil workers back to corporate headquarters. Unfortunately, a sandstorm causes the plane to crash, stranding them in the middle of the Gobi Desert, where depression and Lord of the Flies-style social jockeying inevitably set in. Luckily, one of the passengers is an airplane designer (YAY!) who has a plan to rebuild the broken craft and get them all home to their loving families. Complicating matters is a lack of water, sandstorms that strip flesh from the bone, and a gang of mean nomad smugglers who want the survivors dead for reasons that remain extremely unclear. (Maybe they think Sticky Fingaz' rhymes are totally wack?)

Thus, the central question emerges: Can this disparate group of outsiders learn to work together and make their former plane rise from the desert sands like the mythical Egyptian bird from whence it takes his name? If you can't figure out the answer, then I have another question for you: Are you retarded?

Of course they get it to fly! That's why it's called Flight of the Phoenix and not The Canceled Flight of the Bullshit Phoenix Who's So Stupid it Can't Even Rise from its Own Stupid Ashes. But then I might pay to see that movie--if it starred Ernest Borgnine. As it stands, Flight of the Phoenix is just another sub-moronic exercise in predictability, and even a decent B-actor like Dennis Quaid can't dig himself out of this towering sand dune of shit.

Poor Dennis Quaid. And yes, I'll say it. Poor, poor Sticky Fingaz.