In this somewhat minimalistic pulpy “B-Movie”, Chole Grace Moritz portrays a female World War 2 pilot named Garrett that’s assigned to deliver a package last minute and has to board a B-17 Bomber plane, unbeknownst to the other officers on board. With this last minute change in their flight, the only available place for her to be is the under belly machine gun turret, away from everyone else.
Of course with every other passenger being a bunch of chauvinistic males, they hurl all types of derogatory insults at her and even question if she’s qualified to be there. When she sees something strange out of the side of the plane, no one takes her seriously.
There is a HUGE chunk of this movie that takes place in one location, the underside turret. We’re with Garrett in this tiny cockpit, with most of the conversations only coming through the communication radio. It’s very intimate, and quickly turns very suspenseful when it appears that she may not be alone underneath this plane.
The story unravels piece by piece and goes places I was not expecting. Even though most of the movie takes place in a small cockpit, the way that it’s shot does not feel static at all. It’s always a bit tricky to keep movies that take place in the same location interesting for the viewer, and I feel that director Roseanne Liang did a great job with those scenes. When the film does open up to different settings, the scope was way larger than I was expecting.
I was impressed with the suspense, the way the story was opening up using only voices on a radio, and the special effects. Then about ¾ of the way through the film, it starts to open up and really displays it’s true “B-Movie” identity, and that is where my enjoyment started to fade. As impressive as some of the special effects were, all of a sudden there were some horrible effects, showing characters doing things that looked completely unbelievable, and the bad effects just highlighted it.
Elements of good storytelling are definitely on display, great settings, great special effects, then it turns into a sort of pulpy cartoon. The beginning felt very grounded, but eventually became a WW2 version Fast And The Furious.
That didn’t make the movie horrible, I was just disappointed it went in that direction instead of keeping with the suspenseful creature feature.
3 out of 5