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Flight Of The Phoenix - 2004

Flight Of The Phoenix - 2004

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When an Amacore oil rig in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia proves unproductive, Captain Frank Towns and co-pilot A.J. are sent to shut down the operation and transport the crew – Amacore executive Ian, rig supervisor Kelly, Rodney, Davis, Liddle, Jeremy, Sammi, Rady, Kyle, Newman, and Dr. Gerber – out of the desert, along with a load of cargo from the site to be liquidated or redistributed to another site, causing the plane to be overweight. However, en route to Beijing, a major dust storm disables one engine when Towns attempts a vertical climb with the overweight plane, forcing them to crash land their C-119 Flying Boxcar in an uncharted area of the Gobi Desert. Kyle falls to his death and the crash kills Dr. Gerber and Newman. Their cargo consists of used parts and tools from the rig, the rig's crew, and Elliot, a hitchhiker. When the dust storm ends, it becomes apparent that they are 200 miles off course with only a month's supply of water. Jeremy thinks about walking to get help, but Rady explains that July is the hottest month in the Gobi, and that even if he used a compass or walked at night, he would not make it.

In the middle of the night, Davis goes out to urinate without informing anybody, trips, gets lost in a sandstorm, and dies. The group panics after a failed search for him, and Kelly argues with Frank, who says that walking out of the desert would fail and that their only option is to await rescue. The group initially agrees but reconsiders after Elliot, claiming to be an aeronautical engineer, pitches a radical idea: rebuild the wreckage of their C-119 into a functional aircraft. Frank initially refuses, which causes Liddle to wander off on his own in protest. Frank attempts to find him. He comes across a valley littered with debris, cargo from the aircraft, which dropped out when the tail was torn open. Among the debris he discovers the bullet-ridden and stripped body of Kyle, after which Liddle appears saying he came to retrieve his watch which he lost to Kyle in a poker game; Towns then deduces that either nomads or smugglers used Kyle's corpse for target practice. Liddle says he will only go back with him if they build the plane, and Frank agrees.

They struggle for several weeks building the new aircraft, during which they experience losing their fuel reserves in a spark fire, an electrical storm, lack of water, and fighting amongst the group. Rady christens it Phoenix after the legendary bird. A problem evolves when they notice a group of smugglers camping nearby. When Ian, A.J., and Rodney attempt to communicate, the bandits mortally wound Rodney, who tries to protect A.J. after Liddle notices that one of them is wearing his watch. A fierce, but short skirmish takes place when Frank (who is with Liddle) ambushes the bandits. Most of the bandits are killed, one is wounded, and one escapes. When going through the smugglers' encampment, they find a wounded smuggler and argue about what to do until Elliot walks over and executes him with a pistol. Towns accuses him of murder, but Elliot states that Towns murdered him by deciding to go investigate the smugglers after being advised against it. He also states that he caused Rodney's death as well, therefore wasting a whole day's work as well as manpower. Towns, in anger, punches Elliot which causes the project to stall due to Elliot's no longer being interested in the project. In desperation, the remaining group agree to give Elliot complete control of the project, and they resume work. After it is finished, it is revealed that Elliot's aircraft design experience has been restricted to the design of model aircraft, much to the anger of everyone, especially Ian, who threatens to shoot Elliot. However, as a storm is brewing, the high force winds causes the plane to lift off temporarily, making the group realize that Elliot's plane will indeed fly. Forced to take shelter in the old plane's hull during the sandstorm, they later dig out the plane from beneath the sand and take off, barely in time to escape a larger group of bandits seeking revenge for the murdered smugglers.

Through a series of photos, we see what becomes of the survivors when they make it back to civilization. All have been revitalized by the experience: Frank and A.J. start their own airline (appropriately named Phoenix Aviation), Sammi and his wife start their own restaurant (Jeremy and Rady are there to celebrate), Liddle is reunited with his wife and kids, Ian becomes a professional golfer, Kelly is working at an ocean oil rig, and Elliot is wearing a flight suit on a Flight International magazine cover with the headline: "NASA's New Hope?" 

(Wikipedia)

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Inventory Last Updated: May 10, 2021