Once again I was peering into the kitchen sink with its stopped up drain. The still, murky dishwater had a few mounds of suds that aimlessly drifted across the surface like melting icebergs. I had already poured some liquid drain opener into the sink but there were no signs of any movement. Looking in the basement over by my tools I came across an unopened box that contained a device that claimed to clear drains. I had seen an advertisement for it but had not used it yet. Returning with it to the kitchen I broke open the sealed box flap and poured the contents onto the kitchen counter. At first glance the items looked like a pile of tired snakes, gray with red tips. I followed the instructions on how to assemble the pieces. When I was done I was not sure which end was to go into the sink first. Inserting one end into the drain I pushed down on the air pump but nothing happened. Flipping to the other side I tried again but not even an air bubble came up to the water’s surface. Repeating the process again with the other end, the air pump still did not deliver its claim to clear the drain with forced air; the device was a useless piece of garbage. SIMILARLY, this faith based film reminded me of my clogged kitchen drain: dead in the water filled with rubbish. Nicholas Cage (Moonstruck, Leaving Las Vegas) played commercial pilot Rayford Steele, who was piloting a flight overseas to London when a portion of the passengers suddenly disappeared into thin air. Unable to contact anyone at flight control, it was not until he heard from his daughter Chloe, played by Cassi Thomson (Grave Halloween-TV, Big Love-TV), that he discovered people were mysteriously vanishing all over the world. Flying blind, Rayford was not sure if he would be able to safely land. I do not know where to start regarding all the things that were wrong with this action thriller. Besides being utterly offensive in the way they used stereotypes such as the “smart” asian man and the “suspicious” middle easterner, the script was cheesy and pathetic. The acting if you want to call it that was sad from everyone including Lea Thompson (Back to the Future franchise, J. Edgar) as Irene Steele and Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill-TV, House of Wax) as Buck Williams. Seeing the character Chloe going from riding a motorcycle to a piece of heavy equipment was laughable. It was brutal sitting through this film as it pounded its faith based agenda into the viewers’ heads. No way would I even consider this a movie; it was bigoted propaganda. This garbage needed to be flushed down the drain since nothing was going on except a paycheck.
So many people have told me to “live in the moment,” yet it has always been a challenge for me. Do not get me wrong, I am actually better at it now; but, it takes some effort on my part. Being a credit manager, yoga/cycle instructor and movie reviewer; I have to plan out my days. However, I can live in the moment wherever I am; I just have a time limit on it, aware there is something afterwards that will need my attention. I guess this explains why the word spontaneous is not part of my vocabulary. Ironically, the one area where I am totally in the present is when I am watching a movie. I never sit and wonder what will happen next or how a certain action will cause a type of reaction. This would explain why a film such as this one provided me a fuller thrill experience. With all the different clues and pieces of American history, I just sat back and enjoyed the exciting ride. Nicholas Cage (Adaptation, Face/Off) was his family’s latest treasure hunter, Benjamin Franklin Gates. Handed down from his ancestors was a story about a fortune hidden by this country’s Founding Fathers. When a mysterious clue was finally solved by Benjamin, it led him on a multi-state adventure to historic American landmarks hidden with clues. Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings franchise, Equilibrium) was the wealthy unscrupulous adventurer, Ian Howe who was intent on beating Benjamin to the treasure at any cost. When getting this DVD I understood the story would be far-fetched, but the way each clue was laid out from scene to scene had me questioning if there really was some truth to this tall tale. With his recent string of poor movie choices, it was good to see Nicholas doing himself proud playing this character. I also enjoyed Justin Bartha (The Hangover franchise, The Rebound) as Benjamin’s assistant Riley Poole and Diane Krueger (Unknown, Troy) as Abigail Chase, a museum employee who accidentally became involved in Benjamin’s quest. If you can sit back and live in the moment, this movie will take you on a wild escapade.
2 2/3 stars — DVD