So Rachel McAdams can play the charming ingenue in the Wedding Crashers. In this one she gets her teeth into something completely different, and much more to my taste: a take-no-prisoners, no-nonsense businesswoman. She manages a swanky hotel in Miami and finds herself on a night flight from Dallas, heading home, sitting beside a man who says her father will be killed if she doesn’t make a phone call and switch the Secretary of Homeland Security from the 38th floor to the penthouse on the roof. Obviously it’s an assassination attempt. (By the way … is this the kind of accommodations we rent for our “public servants” with our tax money? Sadly, I’m pretty sure it is. Far as I’m concerned, they can stay at Motel 6, like we do.)
People in movies usually do a string a dumb things. She doesn’t. She struggles with her situation, is foiled in several attempts, and then does almost everything right. She thinks on her feet (literally; as soon as she can, she ditches her useless high-heeled shoes so she can run!), never hesitates to become the aggressor when she can, and understands one of The Rules (I’m making a list of survival rules, which I may post here some day) that few people in movies seem to grasp: A car is a deadly weapon. She thinks! She acts! She uses what is at hand to great effect. She only makes two mistakes, which are minor. One: when you’ve just killed a man with a gun … take the gun! Two: Never point a gun at a desperate man and tell him to freeze. Point, shoot, and keep shooting until the gun is empty. Other than that, I had no complaints at all about how she handles things. Do you know how incredibly rare that is in a thriller movie? The last one I can recall that came close was Cellular. See this one.