June 13, 2017

Blu-Ray Review: ALTITUDE (2017)

Starring Denise Richards, Dolph Lundgren, Greer Grammer, Kirk Barker, Chuck Liddell, Jonathan Lipnicki, Jordi Vilasuso. Directed by Alex Mirkin. (2017, 89 min).

I still can't decide which part of Altitude I loved most:
  • The scene where recently-demoted FBI agent Gretchen Blair (perpetually pouty Denise Richards) goes ballistic on an obnoxious airline passenger, who's occupying her assigned seat, with an amusingly expletive-loaded tirade.
  • Jonathan Lipnicki (you know, the adorable tot from Jerry Maguire) as a fabulous flight attendant who bursts-out into a suggestive twerk-filled dance while rapping the safety instructions. He gyrates his ass in passengers' faces, who are understandably horrified. This WTF moment has absolutely nothing to do with the story, and I'm still unsure if I was laughing with Lipnicki or at him.
  • Speaking of story, it involves a group of jewel thieves who stage an elaborate airplane hijacking in order the get back their stolen diamonds, taken by former partner Terry (Kirk Barker). Since they obviously already know Terry's whereabouts, plotting the death of 200 other passengers isn't really necessary. They could've simply nabbed him and the jewels before he even got on the plane. But what fun would that be?
  • Real-life Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot Dolph Lundgren and Kelsey's kid Greer Grammer are the criminal masterminds, while UFC superstar Chuck Liddell plays a henchman who feels stupid disguising himself in now-dead Lipnicki's tiny uniform (what's the point of the disguise, anyway?). All are apparently overdue for a vision screening, since they can't locate an air marshal - whom they've already confronted once - clearly seated a few feet away.
  • Speaking of confrontations, the air-fists between Richards and Grammer are hilarious.
Denise Richards learns the in-flight movie is Blonde and Blonder.

  • During a moment when Lundgren pilots the plane through turbulence to keep the passengers in-line, Terry manages to sneak a kiss from Grammer, who's also his ex-wife. Apparently, he's willing to overlook the fact she's planning to kill him.
  • Then there's the glorious scene in which passengers escape by using an inflatable evacuation slide while the plane's taxiing at 180 mph. There's also a general disregard for even rudimentary laws of cabin decompression whenever airplane doors are opened in flight.
If you've read this far, you probably know we ain't talking Flight of the Phoenix here. Altitude is outrageously ridiculous from the get-go and appears to bask in its own stupidity. The goofy dialogue, ludicrous special effects and silly action scenes seem to reflect some kind of self-awareness behind the camera. Surely everyone involved is in on the joke...right?


It doesn't matter anyway, because Altitude is one of those movies where, if you aren't already on-board the tacky train, you'd rage-quit about halfway through. But if you're in the wrong frame of mind - maybe armed with a six-pack or two - there's a lot of fun to be had. I was, and I did.


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