18th Nov2020

‘Airliner Sky Battle’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Wade Baker, DeAngelo Davis, Alyson Gorske, Joseph Michael Harris, Xavi Israel, Michael Lavallee, Bai Ling, Ego Mikitas, Daniel O’Reilly, Jamey Rimawi, Dallas Schaefer, Marisha Shine, Joyce Tatler, Gina Vitori, Terry Woodberry | Written by Alex Heerman | Directed by Rob Pallatina

The Asylum return to the disaster movie well with Airliner Sky Battle, a film whose title outlines EXACTLY what happens in the film! This one comes from English director Rob Pallatina, whose already helmed numerous films for The Asylum after cutting (pun intended) his teeth as an editor on a whole slew of Asylum productions and other low-budget fare. Whilst the directorial reigns are under the purview of someone well-versed in mockbusters, newcomer Alex Heerman pens the script for a film that [like a lot of The Asylum’s movies] follows just about every cliche and stereotype in the book. But that’s not actually a bad thing, especially when it comes to disaster movies AND Asylum movies!

The film sees two Russian operatives hijack a commercial American jet, planning to crash it into a nuclear power plant near Washington, D.C. resulting in fallout that will devastate the Eastern seaboard. With the entire US military complex hacked and military systems locked down there’s no way to launch Air Force fighters to shoot it down; leaving the passengers and crew aboard the another airliner, which took off from the same airport, to figure out how to stop the terrorists before it’s too late.

My first impression of Airliner Sky Battle, after mere minutes of the film starting, was that it was a little on the nose when it comes to terrorist plots… Once again the Eastern seaboard, including the Pentagon and other famous landmarks that suffered through 9/11 were under attack again; and even mentioned as targets in the film! Though to be fair that’s the only “serious” part of Airliner Sky Battle – the rest of the film is action-movie fantasy. Starting with just how the terrorists hijack a huge airliner…

Who knew you could get a job as post-flight airplane cleaners and just waltz onto a plane, fire up the engines and steal it? If that’s real the case then someone needs to look at just people at airports are hired! I jest of course but it’s the first of many over-the-top actions that occur in the film. The others? Well how about opening a plane door mid-flight and NOT getting sucked straight out? In fact being able to stand there and throw the airplane serving carts out the door! Then later opening the door again to abseil down to another plane? OK. OK. To be fair, that last one has been done before in movies – the 1996 Steven Seagal/Kurt Russell movie Executive Decision for example.

Don’t think I’m belittling the film at all for ANY of these flights of fancy. After all this is a movie, not real life. In fact if Airliner Sky Battle was made on a bigger budget with big-name stars no-one would bat an eyelid at the over-the-top nature of the movie.

Speaking of which, Airliner Sky Battle has a truly solid story to it. It’s the kind of film you could see starring Gerard Butler – a follow up to his film Geostorm perhaps? – and released to huge fanfare in cinemas (if we weren’t all in the middle of a pandemic) and produced on a multi-million dollar budget by a Hollywood studio, with financial backing from some Chinese producers too. Like a LOT of modern-day blockbusters are. The fact that this was made for pennies, with a cast of unknowns, shouldn’t, and doesn’t, detract from what is a fantastic action movie.

Airliner Sky Battle is available on VOD and On Demand now.

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