Hijacked (2012) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Hijacked is a terrifically entertaining genre picture with appealing actors and a couple of surprising plot twists. Director and co-scripter Brandon Nutt keeps this classy affair afloat with a professional looking product that side steps many pitfalls that hamper other straight-to-DVD action thrillers. Taking a note from the Die Hard series, and a dose of Air Force One, this derivative b-movie is elevated beyond its mediocre roots by the winning performances from tough guy thespians Dominic Purcell, Holt McCallany and Vinnie Jones. In the lead role is UFC champion Randy Couture, who is going the way of his fellow Expendables alumni, by headline a string of low-budget action films. The irony is that rarely have the likes of Lundgren, Steve Austin or Statham appeared in a movie as purely enjoyable as Hijacked.

Randy Couture is Paul Ross, a federal agent hunting a terrorist group know as ‘the tribe’. When evidence surfaces exposing a plot to hijack the plane of a wealthy industrialist, Ross springs into action. Unbeknownst to him is that his ex-fiancee is on board the flight as well. Aided by a battle tested SAS operative turned bodyguard (Purcell), the pair set off to take down the members of the invading squad and bring the plane to safety. Any action fan that has been near a television in the last 25 years can recount the plot mechanics by memory from so many similarly themed films. The aspect that separates Hijacked from other lesser vehicles are the clean storytelling and clever plot twists introduced in the second and final acts.

Hijacked proves a theory I have regarding action flicks, style is more important than plot. What happens is not nearly as important as how it happens and who it happens to-if you disagree with me think back to some of your favorite Rocky, or James Bond movies. This is a slam-bang, moderately violent air adventure with an intriguing angle as some better than expected character development. One of the best straight-to-DVD releases of the year, don’t miss it.

Director: Brandon Nutt
Stars: Randy Couture, Dominic Purcell, Holt McCallany

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