Jack’s Bad Movies: Flight World War 2 (2015)

IMDB Description:

After Flight 42 travels through a storm they find themselves in France, 1940, during World war II.

The greatest battle that never happened! Based on true events!

That jacket cover makes a couple of bold assertions, and I fully expect it to live up to them.

This movie opens with the flight already in progress. Faran Tahir is captain William Strong. You might remember Tahir from such blockbusters as Iron-Man and Star Trek (2009) and such TV shows as Once Upon a Time and 12 Monkeys. What you won’t remember him from is Flight World War 2. Strong’s copilot is Daniel Prentice (Matias Ponce). They are flying International Airlines flight 42 from Washington D.C. to London. This airline wins the award for least imaginative fake airline name to ever appear in a movie. And of course there are some passengers and a flight crew, will they be relevant later? I hope not. This movie is called Flight World War 2, so I’m guessing somehow it is going to end up in the past. Best case scenario, the plane arrives over London and is shot down by flak cannons immediately.

Props to the movie, three minutes in and it brings us directly to a little thing I like to call, the inciting incident. The plane begins to experience turbulence, and the people on the ground warn the pilots of a sudden storm materializing out of nowhere. Ground control recommends flying around, but I guess that isn’t Strong’s style (ground control probably hates him almost as much as they hate Major “I love radio silence” Tom). Instead Strong decides flying into the vortex is the best idea. At this moment I experienced a terrible fear that this movie will be The Langoliers.

The safest part of a vortex is the middle.

The plane makes it through the “storm.” In the cockpit, all instruments have gone dead except for the radar. Also, it is now nighttime. The copilot says the sun shouldn’t have set for another 40 minutes. Captain Strong gets on the intercom and informs the passengers that they have cleared the storm, and oh, you might have noticed the sun is suddenly gone now, that can happen sometimes when passing through the tip of the Bermuda Triangle. A more comically idiotic thing for a pilot to say I can’t think of, but then again, there is still lots of time left in this movie. There are a few minutes of back and forth and then Strong makes the decision to dip below cloud cover in order to try and get a bearing.

They come under the clouds, and they find themselves in the middle of a battle. Planes are bombing a city and dogfights are taking place all around. Two passengers are apparently history professors traveling to some conference, they see the planes and get all excited, consulting books and binders. These two guys then force their way up to the cockpit to tell them they have traveled back to 1940 and are positioned over France. Oh, there is some troublemaker who sits in front of them, who is both a jerk and possibly an abuser of women.

Eventually their aimlessly flying around France gets them in touch with a British radio tech on the ground, one Corporal Nigel Sheffield played by Robbie Kay. You might remember him from such things as Heroes Reborn, and Once Upon a Time. In fact, since both Tahir and Kay were in Once Upon a Time, I’m guessing one of them is responsible for both of them appearing in this movie. Anyways, Cpl. Sheffield becomes the Deus Ex Machina for beleaguered flight IA-42.

Um no, I am not the adopted son of Hiro Nakamura, famed time traveler and universe alterer, you must be thinking of someone else.

Anyways, troublemaker (Blaine Gray) looks through a history of WW2 book and immediately becomes convinced they are in the past. He stands up and make a big announcement about how the flight crew are lying to them, and they are now in 1940, and they have a responsibility to kill Hitler. A couple of army dudes in the back disagree, there is a scuffle on the plane, and in the end the army dudes and the flight crew win and troublemaker is relegated to his seat.

Back to just chatting it up with Sheffield on the ground. Everyone is lamenting how the allies don’t have a radar device, oh woe is us. At some point he mentions everyone was killed at Dunkirk (instead of being saved by an armada of fishing boats). The history guys say that isn’t correct. So already we know this is an alternative timeline / universe. That never seems to be relevant later though.

For some reason it is determined the plane has to come below the clouds and turn on its lights. Right after they do this, they are discovered by German jet fighter planes. The historians are like “hey, they shouldn’t have those yet, not for like four more years.” Again more evidence of an alternate past, but whatever. The planes immediately start attacking what must in their minds be an impossibly massive jet plane. This huge plane is then able to somehow outmaneuver those nimble fighter jets. This fight is not without casualties though, because the copilot is shot (and not killed) and the landing gear is damaged. Pilot William Strong asks a flight attendant to take his place while he goes to investigate the landing gear, in what I can only assume is standard operating procedure when the pilot goes anywhere (like the restroom). Among the passengers (or as he thinks of them, the common folk), he tells them the landing gear is fried and asks them for help. In the process he recruits an engineer and a mechanic.

The movie now misses an opportunity for someone to die in order to repair the aircraft. Any director who looked like and was Michael Bay would tell you the movie needs a heroic sacrifice to be a winner. Oh well. Landing gear fixed, now the plane is being shot at by missiles. This time it is apparently from the Brits, who have decided the plane is better destroyed than to fall into enemy hands. How did the Brits get such good surface to air missiles in 1940? Why aren’t they using those against the Germans? We can only assume this information is classified top-secret and filed in a cabinet marked “stupid things that don’t add up.”

The Germans are back, but apparently it is really easy to trick two pilots to collide in midair, so that is what they do. Fuel is becoming a problem and now the crew think maybe they should try to find their way home instead of live out the rest of their days in alternate 1940 France. But they can’t find the storm so they decide to give the radar to the radio tech. With it being fixed on the ground it will be better able to see than 30,000 up in the air. This is sound movie logic if I ever heard it. So they strip the radar, antennae, and then like throw in a tablet, USB charge stick, and maybe a Grays Sports Almanac. In the process they try to gather things to make a parachute, of which most is from a bunch of ponchos they get from an old man. The camera keeps lingering on this old man, all through the film, and it is obvious he is the twist at the end of the movie.

Some of the tech that enabled Nigel Sheffield to become the wealthiest human on the planet.

They are dropping the package over German territory, so the Brits go and retrieve it. Somehow the wounded copilot is well enough to help open the door and throw it out. I’m pretty sure they forget he was supposed to be seriously wounded from gunfire sustained from an airplane. Also, no one takes his seat when he leaves. Maybe Strong just didn’t want his seat getting cold in his absence. After a terrible fight scene on the ground, the Brits recover the package and take it back to Sheffield. Now, with zero training, radio operator Cpl. Sheffield hooks up the radar and locates the storm.

Anyways, Deus Ex finds the storm and they fly through it. I would expect them to reappear where they had left, over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with no fuel and totally screwed. But no, for some reason they randomly appear over Germany and are able to land at an airport. Everyone deplanes, except the old man. Turns out he is Nigel Sheffield! Not even the captain can muster up any fake surprise for this obvious plot twist. Does this old man fly every flight from DC to London hoping to travel back in time? Is he actually 94 years old (assuming the movie takes place in 2015 and he was 19ish in 1940)? Is he from the other universe where Dunkirk was a failure and the Germans had jet fighters 4 years earlier than in our universe? We may never know the truth.

Going back to that jacket cover. It says “based on true events”, a pretty bold claim, considering they went back to a past that was different from our own. And “The greatest battle that never happened!”? Considering there really wasn’t ever a battle in the movie, I guess that is true, and apparently it was the greatest one. Wish I could have seen that movie.


19 thoughts on “Jack’s Bad Movies: Flight World War 2 (2015)

  1. i thought it funny that in the bombing bit near the start professor dimwit and his assistant dimmerwit rattle off an impressively exhaustive list of German aircraft involved but neglect to mention the ME 262 jet fighter that just happens to zing on past their window.

      • Not forgetting that the British never had US Jeeps in 1940 and they came later in North Africa with the lend lease scheme. Also whyvwas there a random British unit in France near Swiss border, and within 5 minutes of dropping the radar rhe germans and brits found it on the ground, up a tree, in the dark then got it back to this corporal who set it up and had it running with no training or idea, all powered off a power bank battery. Why was such an important recovery mission left to a cpl whilst his officers and superiors were swanning about doing nothing? Cringeworthy bad with a 5 pound budget.

  2. I watched this today on movies 4 men. Purely for the comedic value. Also, it proves Americans have no understanding of European geography

  3. A hysterical history.
    Luftwaffe bombing St Nazaire? Ww2 German jets? Etc., Etc., Etc. Got bored and watched Tom and Jerry instead. More factual

  4. It’s a good thing I’m not lactose intolerant because this was a huge hunk of anachronistic and hilariously inaccurate cheese. It’s supposed to be 1940, but they have ME 262 jets, which weren’t operational until mid-44. And the St. Nazaire raid, which featured prominently in the beginning, occurred in 1942, and it was by the British Royal Navy, not the Luftwaffe.

    And they have the tired time-travel cliche of having “experts” on whatever era they’re sent back to on hand to provide exposition (this one had two World War 2 history professors, who misidentified almost everything). But it was entertaining in an odd way. The actors certainly punched the clock, and the effects were passable for such a low-budget movie.

  5. What an utter load of crap.
    I did think it was going to turn out that somehow thecamericans got the credit for inventing radar, with similar accuracy in the American film when the American navy retrieved an enigma machine from a sinking German U boat, just the American who also believed that rubbish, it never happened.
    Flying with landing lights on, then turning them off so to make it harder for the German fighters to see them, but left all the cabin lights on, DOH!
    Throwing out the radar at a minimum of at least 200 mph on a plastic poncho, and surprise surprise it wasn’t ripped to shreds, I could go on, but is it really necessary I ask myself.

  6. Just watched the film mainly waiting for the next cock up. What accuracy they had just tossing the so called radar out of the door. I loved the piece of grating spinning round on a pole, with the reflector you do need a high powered pulsed input to get a radar map of the area. That did seem to be missing.
    But they did undersell the whole thing as just radar! What about the programming technology of the tablet? I am pretty sure those batteries were too big for the ‘tablet’ anyway. Also how come it just peeled off the wall? Anything not screwed down quietly vanishes.
    I thought the main actors were actually quite acceptable except for the light fingered passenger who tried to create panic, never saw him again, did he got off early?

  7. Really wasn’t that bad, but still has it’s B points. Seen few of these time travel vortex films before, most don’t add up, as reality history is a minefield to work out. The ME262 Was quite good looking, of course the 1940 time line sort of messes a lot of things up. OK it’s just a pop corn movie, fun but silly.

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