Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I'm going to get straight to the point: Altitude is trite, boring, listless garbage. Any number of possibilities could have found its way into this mess making it far more interesting than the crapfest I viewed onscreen. Instead of being thoughtful and original the filmmakers chose stock and simple. This should be renamed Dipshits On a Plane.
Altitude tells the story of five soon-to-be college friends who, instead of opting for the usual vehicular road trip, they take an airplane piloted by their gal pal out to a concert. She lost her mom years before in a plane crash, her mother being a private pilot herself. Despite the fact that she isn't fully certified and that her dad (yes, he's a pilot too) doesn't want her to fly on her own, she decides to anyways. Great idea!
The five kids themselves are of the garden variety horror type: the bimbo with a drug problem, the jock who wants to do nothing more than to binge drink, the pseudo boyfriend with an unrequited love, the aforementioned pilot girl who is completely self-centered and loner guy who's along for the ride for God knows what reason. So they all board Dumbass Air and it's off they go into the wild blue yonder.
After some superficial dialogue about life, what they're going to do after they graduate, and some bickering between the now belligerent jock and unrequited love guy, they find themselves flying straight into a nasty storm. At this time, our pilot thinks it a good idea to inform the group that she hasn't received her full certification and that she's not permitted to fly into storms or cloud cover. If she can't see the ground, she can't fly at all. But things go all weird when the plane inexplicably increases altitude and strange monster-like groans are heard outside.
Some more bickering takes place and our group flips out and becomes completely irrational (read: annoying as fuck). All that you hope for at this point is that they make dumb decisions and die. And that's what essentially happens. They think it a good idea to have one of them exit the plane while tethered to the inside of it to fix the now stuck back tail. The hope being that a properly functioning one will help lower their altitude. Poor loner guy gets the job and monster lurking in the clouds strikes. Basically all hell breaks loose from here on out as druggie girl overdoses and jock and lover boy continue to fight.
All of this leads to one lame revelation of why they are in this elevation ascending and monster infested cloud cover: *SPOILER ALERT* unrequited love guy is a comic book and fantasy geek who, whenever he reads comics or a particularly engrossing book, the monsters actually leap off the page and into reality. Dead. Fucking. Serious.
This could very well have been a cool blend of The Twilight Zone and Lovecraft. Instead it feels cheap and basic. Instead of creating likeable characters we felt for we were given standard genre fodder. Feigned drama was preferred over creating genuine tension and fear. And numerous emotional avenues could have been explored which were not. Like give one of the characters a genuine fear of flying or another one having lost a loved one in a tragic accident that plays well into their fears. Something, anything that would make me latch on and make me care over and above the beaten to a dead horse 'that guy's a jock' or' that girls a bimbo.' Cheap, boring, lazy, skip.
Cortez the Killer