Hijacked spends its first 10-minutes building up Vinnie Jones, playing a high-end security type for a business tycoon. Jones flirts with a few woman, trades exposition, and then gets shot in the head. His end purpose? Nill.
It would seem most of these people cast for Hijacked were done so based on their ability to play dead, this after their plane is snagged by a supposed modern day Robin Hood. Bruce Lieb (Craig Fairbass) is that multi-billionaire, taken hostage aboard his own private jet by Rostow (Holt McCallany) who plans on snatching funds to distribute to, well, someone.
Rostow is a mean sucker, firing guns at will while oddly maligning his lackeys for doing the same. If his blood pressure is up, so is his anger. Unfortunately for him, he chose the plane with UFC vet Randy Couture and TV player Dominic Purcell on board, the latter of whom is sporting a killer ’80s mustache. Both fumble about the plane’s interior trying to find a solution to this hostage scenario, the whole time focused on how little acting ability Couture actually has.
Hijacked never finds the opportunity to raise its tension, falling back on a number of eye rolling cliches, even down to the red/blue wire on a car bomb as a LED timer ticks down from 10 seconds. The script takes an eternity to actually reach the hijacking itself, occurring dead center at the halfway mark of the film. By then, the audience is already lost in terms of interest.
A routine score, messy shoot-outs, and fist fights that happen too tight within the frame to appreciate (and to hide slim production values), crumble Hijacked’s frail entertainment value. Much of it feels like it’s biding time until the surprise twist ending, which invalidates the villain of the piece. As clever as it might be (and many would say wildly illogical), Hijacked is flipped upside down to render conversations technologically implausible. All the more reason to avoid.
Undoubtedly shot digitally and fitted with some stock footage that sticks out sorely, Hijacked doesn’t have much to offer up visually. Set within the confines of one of the most poorly lit planes in existence, there’s little to no contrast here, black levels affording the image no breathing room. They die from the opening frames with their murky, dim gray focus.
Fidelity meanders, although much of that burden can be left on the camerawork which rarely maintains a steady, clean focus. On point, textural detail can be marveled at for a few seconds before the next shot wipes clean the positivity. Close-ups are admirable when they can be, while all of the medium shots wander in and out of mediocrity.
The presentation is noise free to its credit, although that’s not considering the stock footage which ramps up the artifacting. Anchor Bay pushes out an AVC encode that works in the background, so it carries no blame. With a digital source and transparent encode, the image should be sparkling. Even with consideration as to the grim tone, it’s not enough to give the flick a visual pass.
Hijacked opens on a party with saturation steering into a deep warmth before moving into a static, limited saturation world caused by the miniscule lighting. Flesh tones pale and primaries have little – if any – presence to work with. The film is punishingly boring to look at.
The first major action scene of Hijacked is a shoot out, so scattered, imprecise, and muddy in terms of the bass, it doesn’t feel finished. Bullets and their sound effects feel randomly placed within the mix just so something exists in the rears. The low end is a constant stream of activity, but never feels attached to any specific trigger pull. Stereos are barely separated, and the high side feels restricted. Even for something done on a budget, it seems as if someone had more expansive plans than they were able to realize.
Later gun firings are more individualized on screen, meaning the somewhat sloppy bass is more in tune with the visuals. There’s no attempt to make it sound as if it’s contained within the interior however. A late bomb explosion generates substantial LFE force, as does the plane’s take off as it pans overhead. Punches, almost hilariously, seem to match the gunfire in terms of impact.
Scene selection and play movie are the menu options. That’s it, so no bonuses for you.