Passenger 57 is a silly action film typical of the 1990s era but between Wesley Snipes kick-ass nature and Bruce Payne’s delightfully ham-filled villainous performance, it makes for at least a fun viewing even if it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. But outside of a couple of lines, it’s fairly forgettable.
Warner Bros. | R – 82 min. – $19.98 | August 6, 2013
Directed by: Kevin Hooks
Writer(s): Stewart Haffill and Dan Gordon (story), David Loughery and Dan Gordon (screenplay)
Cast: Wesley Snipes, Bruce Payne, Tom Sizemore, Alex Datcher, Bruce Greenwood, Elizabeth Hurley
Theatrical Release Date: November 6, 1992
Features: Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 19.2 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
Plot Outline: John Cutter (WESLEY SNIPES) is an ex-cop – quit because he blamed himself for the merciless death of his wife during a botched store robbery – now working for an airline company teaching what to do if a terrorist were to hijack the plane. In one of the time capsules for a pre-9/11 world, we had a scene in which a flight attendant manages to get the gun away from Cutter and disarmed with the help of a passenger to which Cutter scolds her and says she should always follow the terrorist’s orders. I had to smirk at this as today there’s no doubt what should be done…
Following the exercise, Cutter gets a visit from old pal Sly Delvecchio (TOM SIZEMORE) with an offer for the Chief of Security. At first Cutter is reluctant to take the job but ultimately says yes and is put on a plane for L.A. where he’s to meet for the airline company’s annual meeting. It’s an opportunity to make some money and hopefully move on from his wife’s tragic murder.
Meanwhile, and unbeknownst to the airline or Cutter, the FBI is transporting notorious terrorist, responsible for at least four bombings, Charles Rane (BRUCE PAYNE) headed for, you guessed it, good Los Angeles! As you can guess, Rane has something up his sleeve and this includes a new stewardess (ELIZABETH HURLEY), a couple planted thugs and a luggage handler (MARC MACAULAY) who manages to bring aboard numerous weaponry in yet another example of a pre-9/11 world, oh heck, I’d be hard-pressed to think this could have happened in the 90s either.
You can guess the rest: Rane takes over the plane while Cutter jumps into action to save the passengers, his own skin and a potential love interest in Marti Slayton (ALEX DATCHER), the flight attendant Cutter scolded earlier for stopping the fake hijacking. Cutter and Rane of course spar with some nifty 90s one-liners, including the most quoted, “Always bet on black.”
Quick Hit Review: Passenger 57 is the typical 1990s action flick where every studio attempted to ride the coattails of the surprise 1988 hit, Die Hard so every other movie was Die Hard on a/in a *insert mode of transportation*. This is no different and although it is quite goofy at times, has eye-rolling one-liners and incredibly short clocking in at only ~75-minutes (sans opening and end credits), it’s still a fun little flick that reminded you why Wesley Snipes was such a star back in then. It’s also a fun turn for Bruce Payne who plays your prototypical evil villain whose only motivation is for chaos and self-preservation, and he plays it to the hilt.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5
The only feature included is the theatrical trailer (1:59; SD).
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Passenger 57 gets through security, and a full cavity search, and takes off on Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and although I doubt Warner Brothers gave it much of a cleaning, probably just dusted off the film from their vault, it’s not a bad looking transfer. The detail level in this picture is well defined and the colors often are bright. The black levels could be a better deeper with some scenes looking a tad lighter in places but that’s more to do with how it was filmed rather than a flaw in the transfer. For a cheap catalogue release, it’s not bad.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in the meantime shows off a wide range from the action-packed sequences allowing each channel to shine to the few quieter moments where it’s mostly dialogue or the (artificial) ambience of the airplane. It’s not an overly impressive lossless track but it gets the job done well enough to provide as close of a home theater experience as possible.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, Passenger 57 is a silly action film typical of the 1990s era but between Wesley Snipes kick-ass nature and Bruce Payne’s delightfully ham-filled villainous performance, it makes for at least a fun viewing even if it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. But outside of a couple of lines, it’s fairly forgettable. The Blu-ray released by Warner does have decent audio and video transfers but is nearly void of any bonus features.