Horizon Line is the latest movie to take ‘the pilots dead how do we land’ storyline and weave it into a 90 minute made for Amazon Prime style movie. Whilst at times technically impressive, Horizon Line left me a little cold on the rest of the details. It also reminded me of a few strange memes too. Let’s dive in.
The disasters faced
A dead pilot, a plane crash, drowning, sharks, dare devil plane stunts and above all else – having your job be a high flying brand manager and living the life like a wannabe influencer. I just wanted to hate her instantly.
Sara is the brand manager in question. She loves a good party and intends to enjoy the beach life with her friend Pascale whose getting ready for her wedding. Sadly for Sara the wedding involves inviting her ex Jackson although quite literally the character progression goes from ‘I don’t want to date’ to ‘he’s hot lets bang’ within one topless walk.
Banging is infact what they do that evening and it causes them to sleep in and miss the plane ride to the wedding destination on a nearby island. Pascale will be pleased. Sara and Jackson instead hitch a ride with Freddy who is busy transporting enriched alcohol in his plane. Freddy then has a fatal heart attack during the flight and so begins the real drama.
After learning to fly the plane extremely quickly, Sara and Jackson have to climb around the plane in various stunts to top up fuel, dangle off the wings and fly directly into storms, eventually hoping that they’ll reach their destination soon. The problem is, they’ve been flying the wrong way and as fuel hits critical levels, the duo have to decide where to ditch the plane and fend for their lives in the sea if they can survive. Will they make it? Will you want them to? It is possible these answers will be different…
Why is it worth watching?
The fun from Horizon Line came from the odd way it has been written and staged. I feel like Sara has been written by men who think social media executives or vapid image conscious women who just want to party and have hot sex with drink and drugs. She thinks like how a man who hasn’t had proper discussions with a woman would think a woman would think like. A lot of this is dropped as soon as the first 25 minutes are over and the action begins but then a new fun game to play comes in.
From here on in the vast majority of the dialogue involves Sara shouting ‘Jackson’ over and over again. Funnily enough Jackson doesn’t shout ‘Sara’ back nearly as much. It reminds me of the game Heavy Rain and the meme of Ethan shouting his sons name ‘Jason’ at everyone he meets in the shopping centre. This feels no different and is equally as funny.
Remove those elements and there are some technically decent moments here. The plane crash sequence is well done as the plane fills up with water and there is some genuine tension in some of the sequences. I just wished the characters were more rounded so I’d want to care about them.
Some of the plane sequences have such brilliant blue skies in them I couldn’t tell if they were digitally beautiful or naturally beautiful. The island were the film was filmed on looks stunning though. When it comes to the action, the plane crash sequence is the best section as it fills up with water and Sara and Jackson try to escape. The stunts look decent enough on the plane too, if a little clean. I feel like the sky lacking details made it feel a little more digital than it is.
Only two really stick about and I can’t say much about them. Sara embodies a woman who feels like she’s two Instagram posts away from launching her own vegan smoothie postal delivery shop. Jackson is just a torso to be thrown about on and give Sara a reason to not give up as he gets bashed about. He has zero personality at all and is possibly one of the most forgettable main characters in a disaster movie I’ve seen in recent years.
Nothing a bit of rum and ginger can’t fix.Freddy who then dies five minutes later
Three memorable moments
- Watching Sara fill up the fuel tank on a flying plane from the wing with alcohol for the wedding.
- Post plane crash escape and revelations.
The obligatory weird moment
Whilst I could pick apart their horrible relationship, there is something that annoyed me more at the end. Lost at sea and drifting to their death, we get a pan to sharks starting to circle around Sara and Jackson. Yet they are never seen, mentioned or come into any part of the story ever again. It is as if someone said ‘NO! 90 minutes only gang!’ and this section was just cut in post-production, if it exists at all.
The drinking game
Whilst Horizon Line does nothing technical wrong, it does nothing special either. It is completely and utterly average and unremarkable in every way. I struggled to remember much of it after viewing and had to rewatch it for the review! All the elements for something good are here, it just doesn’t come together.
Rating: 2 / 5 Poor
If you enjoyed Horizon Line then you may like…
- Airspeed – If you want a really campy terrible plane drama disaster, this is classic bad.
- Airport 77 – Still my favourite plane crash related movie of all time.
- Rough Air: Danger of Flight 534 – Made for TV guilty pleasure that has no qualms killing passengers.
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