Hello and welcome to a very special edition of Buried Credits we have dubbed “Star Wars Month”! For three weeks in January we will be exploring the films of the three main actors of the original Star Wars trilogy! Buried Credits, a column that deep dives into the IMDB pages of favorite actors, directors, and writers to find their lost, forgotten, or unknown film and TV credits, continues this week with works featuring Mark Hamill.
It’s Malcolm Brook’s (Mark Hamill) last shift running air traffic control before he retires. It’s supposed to be an easy shift as the airport is all but closed during a crazy storm. There’s only one flight still to leave and it’s only carrying a few passengers. It should leave and touch down in New York without ever hitting the storm. The one thing Malcolm didn’t count on is mysterious happenings on the plane. The passengers include an ensemble cast of characters including a nice – if slightly annoying – teacher Bob (director Dominic Burns), the easily excited and heartbroken Alan (Simon Phillips), a doctor (Raji James), an older man who is obviously a crime boss Max Korgen (Alan Ford) and his bad ass bodyguard Luke (Craig Conway), and a few more. When Bob goes missing, people start freaking out, especially when the people looking for him start to disappear. Throw in a mysterious box in the cargo hold emitting some weird noises, two Special Agents who want to take over air traffic control, and an odd opening and closing narration by Hamill himself and what you have is a really fascinating and entertaining pseudo-Twilight Zone flick!
First off, I don’t trust online ratings very often, but when I see a film given a rating of 3.9 out of 10 I usually expect something pretty bad. This, however, is very far from bad. It’s a bit lacking in the character department as a lot of characters fall into very obvious tropes, but they’re still fun and mostly endearing. It also helps that the cast of main characters is so big so you can get away with them not being too great since you can just focus on a different person. The acting isn’t too bad, in some cases it’s actually fantastic. Burns plays a wonderful little weirdo very well, Hamill is pretty great, and most of them all seem believable. The stand out is definitely Alan Ford who plays the exact same character you would expect from the Guy Ritchie veteran. On top of all that, the story is really great as you never really know what’s going on until the last 15 minutes or so and it constantly keeps you guessing and jumping to conclusions trying to figure everything out. However, some of the acting is poor, the cinematography isn’t great, and, again the characters do fall into uninspired tropes. Aside from that, though, the movie is genuinely quite decent!
Hamill’s portrayal of the older Malcolm who is prepping for retirement is wonderful. It’s far from his best acting, but he does pull from the same style of acting that we got in yesterday’s film Comic Book: The Movie where he very realistically portrays the everyman kind of character. He is worried when he needs to be and strong when he needs to be and it’s perfect. It’s not very stand out, but it’s some nice and neat acting for a nice neat little film.
Obviously it’s not the best film out there, not even this week (that goes to Midnight Ride in my opinion), but it’s a nice fun little flick. It keeps you guessing all the way to the end and has some really cool twists and turns. It feels like an episode right out of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Darkside. Hamill is fun, not his best, but a nice little character just doing his job the whole time, especially under pressure from the special agents. It’s lacking a bit in the unique character department, but that’s really the only bad thing about the film. Far from stellar, but far from sub-par, definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of The Twilight Zone.
Come back tomorrow for an extra special bonus article going back to the early days as we fondly remember our favorite space farm boy!