The best part of Flight of the Phoenix is the sandstorm that spectacularly sucks down a cargo plane somewhere over the Gobi dessert in Mongolia, maneuvering the powerful silver liner in and out of the shifting sands like a holy worm in Dune. That's the first 20 minutes or so. After that, Dennis Quaid's muscled chest, arms and abs are about the only things that stand out in this flaccid remake of a 1965 Jimmy Stewart B-movie set in the Sahara. Comparisons can only disrespect the original, so let's cut that character-rich version out of the picture, which is exactly what the filmmakers have done. What's left is some silly nonsense about the doomed crew rebuilding the plane before dying of thirst; and a late-start on the job because Quaid, a rebel pilot without a cause, needs his heart warmed by a group hug first. Hot and sticky.
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