August 19, 2005, - 10:58 am
By Debbie Schlussel
After seeing Wes Craven’s (Director of “Nightmare on Elm Street“) “Red Eye” (in theaters, today), I’ve changed my mind on my earlier trepidations about this movie. Overall, “Red Eye” is one of the few exciting movies this summer. With all of the sequels, remakes, etc., “Red Eye” is certainly one of the few originals and one of the few with an interesting plot.
The plot: A terrorist corners a luxury resort hotel manager on a red-eye flight. He blackmails her into changing the hotel room of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, so that terrorists can launch a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM)into his suite. (This is NOT a spoiler. The missile going toward the room is featured on a lot of the TV trailers for “Red Eye.”)
The plot is not only very plausible, but the use of SAMs to target a hotel floor or suite is a very real threat, as we learned when Al-Qaeda tried to use SAMs to bring down an Israeli plane over Kenya in late 2002, and was nearly successful.
Some comments by posters on this site predicted I would hate “Red Eye” because the main terrorist, Jackson Ripner, played by Cillian Murphy (of Irish descent and with blue eyes), was not Islamic. But, are the terrorists, for whom Ripner works, Islamic? Perhaps. Before the missile is launched, you can hear those for whom Murphy is working speaking almost inaudibly. If you listen carefully and speak Russian, as I do they are saying, “Adin, Dva, Tri, Chetiri,” which translates to “One, Two, Three, Four.” They could, therefore, be Chechnyan terrorists.
And that’s my one criticism of the movie. To wit, that director Craven doesn’t tell or impress upon you whether the terrorists are Muslim, in another politically correct move, designed to dodge the criticisms of Islamist groups, like CAIR. And, since most Americans don’t speak Russian, they are unlikely to notice even the one-time barely audible Russian spoken by the terrorists. Craven took the wimpy way out on terrorism, like so many in Hollywood.
* It’s doubtful terrorists would try to attack the DEPUTY Secretary of Homeland Security, as opposed to the main guy. That said, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security is played by former Armani and underwear model, the handsome (even in his 50s), suave, and debonair Jack Scalia (real-life third draft pick in 1971 Major League Baseball draft–Montreal Expos). I know many DHS agents and employees, and while some are very handsome (sorry, Abu Moskowitz, not you), but take a look at Scalia versus the real Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. They’ve definitely glammed things up. (Looks would not matter if DHS was actually doing its job of protecting us. It isn’t.)
* The Deputy Sec. of Homeland Security stays weekly in a giant suite atop a luxury beachside resort, complete with regular complimentary Cuban cigars and Krystal champagne. In real life, DHS officials are neither allowed to waste tax dollars on such largesse, nor to accept such extravagant free gifts (especially goods from Cuba)–strictly prohibited.
* Terrorist Jack Ripner looks too much like a glammed up version of NBC “terrorism expert” Evan Kohlmann (minus the goatee).
* Another face we see too much of in “Red Eye” is “Survivor’s” Colby Donaldson (who plays a Secret Service agent). No-one who wasted 39 days of life in an Australian desert for CBS should get to be in a major motion picture. Leave that to the real, left-wing actors, so they will be occupied with something and stay out of politics.
* An old, familiar face from the past, Robert Pine, the police chief from “CHiPs,” plays an angry hotel guest. What, no Ponch & Jon?
Tags: Abu Moskowitz, al-Qaeda, Australian desert, CBS, Cillian Murphy, Colby Donaldson, Cuba, Debbie Schlussel After, Deputy, Deputy Secretary, director, Elm Street, Evan Kohlmann, Islamic, Jack Ripner, Jack Scalia, Jackson Ripner, Kenya, main terrorist, Major, Major League Baseball, Michael Jackson, Montreal Expos, NBC, police chief, real Deputy Secretary, Red-Eye, resort hotel manager, Robert Pine, Secret Service, terrorist, Wes Craven