Flight of the PhoenixDecember 17, 2004
Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.
Release Year: 2004
Rating: 6.0/10 (25,527 voted)
Critic's Score: 47/100
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi
A group of air crash survivors are stranded in the Mongolian desert with no chance of rescue. Facing a brutal environment, dwindling resources, and an attack by desert smugglers, they realize their only hope is doing the impossible… building a new plane from the wreckage of the old one.
Writers: Lukas Heller, Scott Frank
(as Kirk Jones)
Scott Michael Campbell
(as Martin 'Mako' Hindy)
Anthony Brandon Wong
(as Anthony Wong)
If they stand together, they stand a chance
Release Date: 17 December 2004
Filming Locations: Africa
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $5,019,430
(19 December 2004)
(13 March 2005)
Did You Know?
The model used for the crash sequence cost $250,000 and was so perfectly built it actually flew further than the crew and testing had predicted. In fact it flew so far it hit the camera filming it and broke the cameraman's leg.
When Elliot is first introduced, Towns is wearing his jacket. But the reverse shot, Towns is wearing a short-sleeved shirt and no jacket.
[preparing for takeoff]
[as Bill Cosby]
OK, all set, Mr. President. I think it's about that time that we do the checklist as the two Bills. What do you say, buddy?
[as Bill Clinton]
Why change a good thing? Go ahead, good buddy.
Allow me to grab my bulletin. Seatbelts.
I always like to have a little something strapped to my lap. Check.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Windows, doors and hatches.
Closed and secure, so no-one can disturb us.
That's what she said.
The politically correct version of the flight of the phoenix!
Almost 40 years after the original the 2005 version shows how much the
world has changed. To start off with there is a woman passenger in this
film unlike the original where the only female was an exotic Arabian
dancer (although a mirage). In this version the frail girl passenger is
a foul-mouthed oil driller who wears the obligatory tank top and
spandex pants once the boiler suit has been discarded.
In addition to this we have two black men, one who is the co-pilot. In
the original the Mexican dies in the ill-fated march through the desert
however in 2005 the Mexican survives. (The writers are probably
sensitive to the many Mexicans who die trying to cross the Arizona and
Texas border in hot conditions). In fact he defies almost certain death
when the wing of the new construction collapses on top of him but
survives. In 1965 the cocky Scotsman survives but in the 2005 the
Scotsman perishes in the shoot out with the nomads. Interestingly, we
are still aloud to use nomads as the cruel bad guys, again in the
original it was the Arabs who were the barbarians, that won't cut
today, so it's probably why outer Mongolia was chosen.
However, the writers slipped up with their choice of the anti-hero. In
the original the blond hared blue eyed bespectacled trouble maker was a
German called Dorfman, who menacingly portrayed the stereotype of Nazi
arrogance and superiority who audiences back in 1965 (20 years after
the war) could easily hate; yet he turned out to be the hero in the
To bring it up to date and really be politically correct they should
have used a Muslim. We all could have hated him but then hailed him as
a hero in the end too. All in all a pointless remake and for die-hard
fans of the original they may have a hard time swallowing this one. The
original, which is a longer movie, is superior in portraying the
hopelessness of their predicament as well as the underlying tensions
between the survivors. Cowardice and bravery are on show in the 1965
version, but in this one —, just stupidity!