"Turbulence"? A better title would have been "Slight AirDiscomfort." It more aptly describes both the action and the excitement of this film, which are more like subtly annoying flatulence then full-blown intestinal malfunction. However, if you use the same metaphor to describe the film's overall quality, it is clearly a piece of the latter.
"Turbulence" is a lot like "Passenger 57" -- on Prozac. Federal marshals are escorting a couple of prisoners on a commercial flight and -- hold onto your pants now -- something goes wrong. One prisoner, Ryan Weaver (Ray Liotta), is a suave Ted Bundy type who's accused of murdering some women. The other is an armed robber (Brendan Gleeson). There's a shootout and amongst those capable of grabbing a gun and pointing it at somebody, only Weaver is left standing .
Director Robert Butler's best-known film credits are "The Barefoot Executive" and "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes," which should give you some idea of his concept of tension. Since Kurt Russell had already done "Executive Decision," Butler turned to Lauren Holly to find someone whose portrayal of an ass-kicker would send audible titters throughout an audience. She plays the stewardess who battles it out with Weaver.
The cheese factor of this film is abominably high. Since political correctness demands that Weaver not toss Holly naked from the plane and crash the thing into Los Angeles, he just waits around impotently for the thing to run out of fuel and drop from the sky. Thus Holly's version of "I am woman; hear me roar" becomes "I am woman; watch me land a plane." Well, thank you Robert Butler and Lauren Holly for allowing me to get in touch with my feminine side. I am woman; watch me retch.
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