“Flight World War II” is another direct to DVD feature from the folks at The Asylum studio. The Asylum is noted for churning out low budget movies that feed the market for bad entertainment. Netflix Instant has been a logical landing spot for many of its products. Especially since we don’t have very many drive-in movie theaters any more. The Asylum movies need to be watched with a copious amount of alcohol and/or a suspension of normal brain functions. If you do that, they can be enjoyable.
“Flight World War II” has a sci-fi tinge to it. A passenger plane passes through an electromagnetic storm and is transported back to 1940. They arrive in the middle of a German bombing raid on St. Nazaire. How do they figure this out? There are two nerdy historians on board. A movie that has heroic historians, spoiler alert: my grade will be prejudiced. The two determine it is the famous raid on St. Nazaire which was in June, 1940. (The Germans actually were bombing St. Nazaire at that time as it was part of the Dunkirk evacuation effort.) This is despite the fact that those are clearly Me 262 jet fighters that are buzzing them. If you have even a rudimentary knowledge of WWII aerial warfare, you know that 1940 is too soon for jets, so what is going on here? Is it the typical insulting the intelligence of the audience that you get with these types of flicks? Actually my theory is the screenwriters are weaving a more tangled web. They have to be jets in order to keep up with a passenger jet. (Plus they look way cooler than propeller planes.) But in order to justify jets in 1940 they have to transform the plot into an alternative history tale. This is confirmed when the plane makes contact with Nigel the radio operator who informs them that Dunkirk was a disaster. It looks like the Allies are going to lose the war. Unless the plane can change history!
|another movie where a historian is the hero -|
A passenger suggests they kill Hitler. This would have made a better movie, but two soldiers on board point out that they could end up screwing up history. Party poopers! Meanwhile the plane undergoes a series of attacks by jets. Luckily, the German pilots are unable to bring down the sitting duck. They do manage to damage the landing gear so we can watch Hector the handyman fix it with a hammer. The historians put their heads together and realize that the key to turning the war around is giving radar to the radarless British. Nigel suggests they drop their radar set to a British patrol behind enemy lines in Germany. Having no parachute, they use a poncho. Nigel has it up and running in five minutes. (If you are not on your fifth beer by now, I warned you.) He is able to steer them to another vortex.
|there's a sexy stewardess, of course|
Even heavy drinking does not make “Flight World War II” tolerable. It is laughably ridiculous throughout. This is sad because the movie lacks any planned humor. It also lacks any real suspense. I guess you have to admire the sincerity. This does not help with the acting. You never want to pair bad actors with sincerity. The cast is less than stellar, as you would expect from a movie like this. Most of the passengers are on board as turbulence fodder (drink every time the plane is buffeted). Fortunately, the captain played by Fasan Tahur brings some gravitas to a stock role. Like the acting, everything else is average. This includes the CGI which consists primarily of faux Me 262s firing tracers. I have to give some credit for the twist of the alternative history. Instead of having to worry about changing actual history, they have to find a way to change the history they are dealt. However, by dangling an attempt to kill Hitler and then switching to simply dropping a radar set, the movie disappoints. Imagine the laughs that the attempt on Hitler’s life would have produced! When you are making a movie like this, go big! You would think that would be the slogan of The Asylum.
GRADE = D
P.S. Check out the poster. Hilarious! "Based on a true story" - yes, there was a World War II. And why not Me 262s?