Action films these days are becoming more and more sophisticated - the special effects have to be bigger and better, the plot has to be tighter and faster, the whole experience a rollercoaster of emotions. So what went wrong with Turbulence? The concept is promising: the heroine is an air stewardess on a 747 flight from New York to LA. Two criminals escape their FBI escorts, and, bingo, the plane is left with no pilot.
Holly is said intrepid air stewardess fighting off an escaped serial killer (Liotta) who is determined to crash the plane, while she has to learn how to fly it through a severe storm, avoid being shot at by the military and save the lives of the passengers and herself.
While the trailer hints at exciting airborne action, packed with spectacular effects and nail-biting drama, Turbulence simply fails to deliver. The dialogue is appalling, the plot predictably implausible, and to cap it all, the weather seems no more turbulent than a bracing February breeze in Portsmouth. Even the baggage holdful of one-liners (aping Die Hard and The Long Kiss Goodnight) are only worth the odd smirk.
While Holly certainly looks fetching in her underwear, and makes a good girl scout type, it is Liotta as the charming but mad killer who has all the fun. Whether he is throttling a stewardess, or axing the aeroplane's computer, he is allowed to caper and overact to his heart's content.
Comedy value is unintentionally provided in the form of Ben Cross, as the ground-based showroom dummy-style pilot who talks Holly through flying the plane. In fact, woodenness is the rule, rather than exception in this film, as the cardboard cut-out characters grapple with unbelievably bad lines.
However, if you like bog standard action movies with a 90 minute wait for a good bit that is over in 30 seconds, then this might appeal.