Nathan Edward Williams

Oh wow, did this movie suck. Imagine stupidity layered on top of bullshit layered on top of absurdity. The premise of the movie is as follows: terrorists want to assassinate the head of The Department of Homeland Security (and his family) because he made some macho comments about fighting terrorism in one of his speeches, and they just couldn't let that slide. So they devise a scheme where they will get Charles Keefe (the head of The Department of Homeland Security) moved from his usual hotel suite in his favorite beachfront hotel, The Lux Atlantic Resort, to a suite on the corner of the building. This will allow them to fire a rocket (!) at that corner of the building from a small fishing boat about a half mile offshore. They smuggle the rocket into the country in a crate of frozen fish, perhaps to illustrate how useless and ineffective The Department of Homeland Security is, but I wouldn't imagine the screenwriter capable of that level of complexity.

Anywho, since they know the boat will be searched once Mr. Keefe's security guards notice the lone boat sitting offshore, they sink the crate with the rocket in the bay. After they've been searched, they haul it back up in broad daylight. Meanwhile, to get Mr. Keefe moved to that corner suite, they've decided on the following simple plan.

After trailing her for eight weeks to get to know her and her weaknesses, our head assassin, Jackson Rippner - played by Cillian Murphy, gets himself a seat next to the manager of The Lux Atlantic Resort, played by Rachel McAdams. He proceeds to tell her that he will have the hit man he has sitting in a BMW in front of her father's house go in and kill her father, played by Brian Cox, unless she has Mr. Keefe moved to that corner suite. She's naturally upset by this, and resistant to playing any part in a scheme to kill Mr. Keefe and his family, and tries everything she can think of to trick Mr. Rippner while keeping him from killing her dad.

This is about the point that I have to wonder: is this really the best scheme the terrorists could come up with? It reminds me of the scene in The Emperor's New Groove where Yzma is plotting to kill Kuzco and says, "Ah, how shall I do it? Oh, I know. I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives...I'll smash it with a hammer! It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say! Or, to save on postage, I'll just poison him with this!" I mean, if they can smuggle a rocket into the country easy enough, wouldn't it be easier to smuggle a bomb into the hotel and blow the whole damn thing up? Or maybe smuggle an accomplice into the kitchen, where they could just poison his dinner? Wouldn't that be a hell of a lot easier? WOULDN'T IT?!

But no, they have to go the complex, logic-deficient route. Needless to say, the stupidity doesn't stop there. Oh, no! Since our brainless assassin has blabbed every detail of his scheme to our heroine, just like the worst of Bond villains are wont to do, she realizes that if she takes his cell phone, he can't call his hit man in front of her dad's house. So, she stabs him in the neck with a pen (performing a very impressive tracheotomy on a moment's notice, I must say), and snatches his phone right before the passenger's start to deplane. While he's stunned, and really, who wouldn't be, she runs out of the plane and into the airport. But the other passenger's saw her stab him in the neck, even though none of them managed to overhear a single word of the Evil Scheme™, and they tell the flight attendants, who inform airport security of the attempted murder.

Now, if you've just stabbed a man in the neck to take his phone to prevent him from calling his hit man to kill your father while you're in the middle of an airport with security looking for you, what would you do? Myself, I'd run to the nearest security station and explain why I stabbed the man in the neck, and get police dispatched to save my father before the villain can make it to a payphone. Our heroine, on the other hand, feels it would be best to evade security (which is surprisingly inept - another jab at The Department of Homeland Security, perhaps?), and steal a car from the front of the airport to race to save her father herself.

Amazingly, there are no police that pursue her, and she manages to get all the way to her father's house with no trouble at all. She uses the villain's phone to call her hotel to warn Mr Keefe just in the nick of time, but the battery dies before she can call her father to warn him. I should point out that even if she didn't warn the hotel, Mr. Keefe probably still would have survived. One of his security guards saw the approaching rocket out the window and already had people running to the elevator, since naturally that would be the safest place to be. He dies in the process, but the genius scheme still gets foiled even though they managed to do everything according to plan.

When our heroine reaches her dad's house, she sees the hit man on his way in, so she runs him over by driving into the front of the house. Shortly after arriving, she finds our villain there, with only a raspy voice to show for getting stabbed in the neck. He doesn't even bleed for fuck's sake! A boring chase around the house ensues, and our heroine comes out victorious. Yee-hah.

There is one gem out of this whole mess that I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't mention it. It's established early on that our heroine will bend over backwards for irate customers and helps her co-worker deal with a couple of regular visitors to the hotel that are pissed that their reservation got deleted. They're rude and mean, in a way that is familiar to anyone who has worked in Customer Service, and there's a moment at the end of the movie when she is speaking to the same couple, who are now angry that their ceiling came down on them when the rocker hit the building. Customer stupidity aside, I love what she tells them. She asks them to fill out a comment card at the front desk, and to "go ahead and just shove it up your ass." Makes me want to watch Clerks...