film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, April 9, 2023

On a Wing and a Prayer 2023 * 1/2 Stars


2023's On a Wing and a Prayer is bad, like sitting through a root canal bad. It's based on actuality yet makes the actual personas look like dolts in a cheesy, Southern-fried TV movie setting. Heck, I was waiting for good ol' Todd Chrisley to pop out of prison and say hi to everybody.

On a Wing and a Prayer is not that Dennis Quaid flick from 2004 (Flight of the Phoenix). Oh no that would be a compliment because "Phoenix" actually got released in theaters. "Prayer" more or less has humdrum production values, laughable title cards (person has zero flight experience, huh?), and varying inconsistencies (plane is in bad weather, a second later it's out of it, what?). Yeah, the whole experience of watching On a Wing and a Prayer is pretty flighty (pun intended).

Taking place in Florida with director Sean McNamara having some strange obsession with country music (great, just what I need), "Prayer" chronicles Doug White (Quaid mentioned earlier), his bible-thumping wife Terri (Heather Graham), and their two daughters. On a flight back to Louisiana, curmudgeon Doug is forced to land the plane and save his family after the pilot suddenly dies in midair. Ugh. White is one stuffy bloke even though all on Fla. soil are trying to save his crusty butt. I mean you could play a drinking game every time he defensively quips, "what do you need me to do?"

Shots and chasers aside, On a Wing and a Prayer is so silly in its execution. I mean it's like a God's Not Dead version of Airport 1975 (if that makes any sense). Apparently according to "Prayer", everyone within one degree of separation of Quaid's White dies of heart failure (take that Kevin Bacon). Added to that, what's up with all the ill-defined characters as pseudo air traffic controllers trying to bring White to the ground safely? They obviously don't know how to do their jobs otherwise they wouldn't have to constantly pass the baton to someone else (and someone else and someone else). If what's on screen here is based on a real true story then I'm Abe Lincoln. "Wing" ding.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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