Hijack (Apple TV+) - Idris Elba on an airplane

Confession time: I love anything set on planes, trains or automobiles. Even as a kid and now as an adult. So imagine how ecstatic I was when I discovered there was a movie by that very name! And I loved it, of course!

Well, there’s a new TV show on Apple TV+ that’s set on a plane! I watched the first episode of Hijack last night, and sure enough, I love it so far. It’s set on a plane, you guys! That’s all it TAKES!

I’m a little skeptical that they can stretch this out for another 6 hours though. For a plane to get hijacked, that’s a great premise for a movie. But it’s a seven hour flight in the show’s fiction from Dubai to London, so I’m kind of nervous that they don’t have enough material here if they’re going to try to stretch out this premise for so long.

I shall see.

I realize the show already finished airing, so feel free to post spoilers I guess, though try to be mindful a little. Maybe condense spoilers into walls of texts, a single paragraph can be easy to skip over for someone who is not ready to read it yet.

So I then must ask…how did you feel about the cinematic masterpiece that is Snakes on a Plane?

Sadly, that’s one movie set on a plane that I didn’t enjoy. :( How do you mess things up so bad? They need a MST3K version of it. I bet it would be a great MST3K movie.

I liked almost everything about it. I think they hand-waved away some off-camera hostage situations at the end, but otherwise it was engaging and well-made with good surprises along the way. Perhaps the premise is far-fetched, but that goes with the territory: every plane hijacking is basically a stupid plan doomed to fail, unless you’re DB Cooper.

As for the timing, the show was more or less the same length as the flight. So you’re seeing events in real time. And there are enough related subplots happening off the plane that this works great.

I watched the second episode last night. Oh man, so good!

I loved the introduction of a new character. A mom in London suburbs taking her kid to school a little late. What a great introduction that turned out to be.

And also, the Dubai characters got some development that I wasn’t expecting.

Through 4 episodes, this is just fantastic so far. I really love the acting, the constant tension. I love the little we’ve seen of the passengers throughout, as well as the hijackers.

We just finished this last night. Idris Elba is quite good, but the the whole thing is also way too long and self-important and the almost-real-time format ultimately works against itself.

On the one hand, there’s plenty of time to develop many of the characters, but otoh, the day-in-the-life snapshot filming style steadfastly refuses to do that almost every time. Why does a random dude who probably negotiates boring details in contract clauses look like an ex marine & think he has any applicable skills here? Why don’t we learn more about the potentially-interesting criminal conspiracy that drives the whole thing? That story is the whole point, yet many of the characters are barely outlined and some are dropped without explanation.

Elba’s acting (as emotive as it is), just can’t carry this mostly uninteresting plane-load of idiots through a story that’s easily twice too long & full of pointless narrative cul-de-sacs.

Hijacked finale was a little clunky. Up to that it felt like all the good parts of a 24 season. Idris is captivating, as usual. The concept of the bad guys was interesting. It’s worth watching for a tense summer show.

Ha ha, y’all saw Hijack!

Now check out the main hijacker, Neil Maskell, playing a villain in something far less dumb.

Will do!

Hmm, if Hijack is dumb, it’s pretty entertaining dumb. Just finished watching the 6th of 7 episodes and I’m on the edge of my seat.

Re: the episode I just watched, they gave hints that there was a sleeper agent hiding among the passengers, but totally faked us out about who it was.

I can’t wait to see the last episode.

I guess I’m easy to please with Hijack and would appreciate an explanation (from somewhere/someone) as to why it’s so contrived. Because the bad guys seemingly had a plan for everything, and because part of their plan was the stock manipulation stuff ?

In no particular order

  • that they trust Sam (Ildris Elba) so implicitly that no one finds it odd to see him in the back of the plane tied up. And then back at his seat.
  • That no one seems to mind the fact that Sam attacked one of the hjijackers. Or that the other guy did. All of that seemed to happen and unhappen as it needed to in order to give us an additional episode and not fundamentally change Sam’s ability to negotiate successfully.
  • That they really trust him at all throughout, to the point that he finds himself in the cockpit with the hijackers. He continues to push and push and we’re just supposed to believe that they’ll listen to him.
  • That Sam would send such a vague text to his wife. “There’s been an incident”. Why not “The plane has been hijacked”? And why not a text to 999 saying the same thing? Because if he did that it would have killed several subplots over several episodes about “are they hijacked or are they not”.
  • Enough about Sam, other than the ending which was equally awful. Of course he’s trapped in the plane at the end with the friendly but suddenly not friendly hijacker. Because why would the military bother checking the plane. Of course.
  • Why did they let Sam’s son live? What was the point of that? The son who of course left his phone somewhere in the apartment so the cleaners wouldn’t see it but they’d hear it. Of course.
  • More basic: Of course they find a bullet in the bathroom. 10 minutes into a flight, where it’s established that all the guns are stored overhead, of course.
  • The airline’s stock crashing. It’s entirely possible for the exchange to halt trading. That’s a logical way to shutdown the entire plot. Even before it’s found out that the bad guys are doing this on purpose, they could and would likely halt trading once the hijack is revealed. And certainly after the government folks find out they would notify the exchange to halt trading. Especially considering they know the leak came from a financial journalist. But they don’t…so the plot can happen.
  • Of course the headphones / radio are busted when the pilot needs them. And of course he doesn’t think to try the co-pilot’s right next to him. But also of course, the co-pilot immediately does when it’s needed.
  • Speaking of the co-pilot, she is back there. Sam has access to the cockpit. But no, let’s let the murderous mom land the plane. Let’s hope she’s a good pilot as opposed to just someone who worked in the navy. Not that Sam knows any of this (except the murderous part) But yeah, go ahead lady. I’ll just sit here and not bug the co-pilot on the other side of the door.
  • I have to ignore the ridiculous premise that there’s “no way to talk to the plane” if you’re in England and it’s flying but not yet over England. Huh? Or ignore that all these countries have to verify the pilot by voice, but are also good with literally no response from anyone for minutes.
  • Also convenient: the cop boyfriend is the one following the baddies. He was the only cop available. Until he’s not. Then he’s back to the apartment because he has to be the one who saves the kid. He’s everywhere they need him to be at all times.

I’m sure there’s more. But I’m rambling. I tried to like it, I really did, and I get it, it’s just an action movie/show/thing. But I couldn’t find anything smart along the journey and I couldn’t get past the un-smart.

Edit to add: I’m not sure why it bothered me as much as it did. I watched all 7 episodes. I watch other shows that are potentially just as contrived and I can’t recall being bothered like this. You can chalk this up to being grouchy maybe. I guess I just wanted it to be more and thought it was going to be. Especially through the first episode and a half.

RE: Hijack

It’s not just you, @Inverarity. I struggled mightily as the episodes got successively dumber and dumber. By the time I gave up, about half way through episode 5, I honestly didn’t care what happened anymore. The best thing I can say about Hijack is that it gets so aggressively inane that it’s easy to stop watching!

Okay, I’ll grant you that the young girl finding the blank round in the restroom early on was vanishingly improbable, and that the terrorist leader remaining in the plane with Sam was pretty silly, pretty much right up there with the last bit of the first Die Hard movie where the blonde long haired muscleman who for sure should be dead already bursts out of the building just so the cop can shoot him dead from improbably far away. Also the co-pilot thing and the halting trading thing, although that might have pissed off the head bad guy enough that he’d order the crashing of the plane then and there. But re the co-pilot, by the time Sam is in the cockpit once the passengers are in control they could have forced the issue.

Good thing I was just along for the ride! :-)

No worries man. What you just put here we’ve all run in to before. You give your time and attention to something that just doesn’t work at all and it’s hard not to get upset. In fact it’s hard not to have an even more critical eye once you start to spot the flaws.

It can even happen to a great show that just starts going sideways (GoT anyone?) and in that case it’s even worse.

Nice details and writeup. Of course I overlooked a ton of those but I did spot a few of those flaws and probably drank watched my way through them.

I don’t need the explanation. The premise was silly, as any premise based on hijacking is usually going to be silly, but the whole thing was well-executed. The characters are well-played and likable, particularly Idris Elba but also Eve Myles (air traffic control lady), Max Beesley (cop / boyfriend). The show kept up the suspense throughout, and while I think it did some handwaving at the end, given the shakiness of the premise it carried itself off quite well. I didn’t expect it to be le Carré, and it wasn’t. I’d recommend it and will probably watch it again sometime.

Finished the series. Scott was right on. Very nicely done throughout each episode.