There's a guilty pleasure in some of those dodgy made-for-video releases, which is not to say they're good or well crafted. We've come to expect the worst from once-great actor Eric Roberts, but I've generally found his thuggish eccentricity amusing. He was perfectly cast as a dumb convict opposite Jon Voight in Runaway Train, bemoaning their plight while Voight gleefully mocked away: "You don't know what you can do and what you can't! You're a coward!" Well, Roberts is still in the same boat: Uncertain of making acting choices anymore, stuck in the rut of movies like Rough Air: Danger on Flight 534.
As the tormented co-pilot forced to assume control of a damaged plane (Through a thunderstorm! With his ex-girlfriend on board as flight attendant! And the captain's been knocked out! And there's a murderer on the flight planning to take them hostage!), Roberts doesn't necessarily give a full performance. The material's not worth it. Not a problem. He certainly remains interesting to watch in his own way. I've claimed before that Moulin Rouge isn't a particularly fine film, but it's compulsively watchable in the same way the downfall of civilization would be. Eric Roberts is more like observing some poor guy who thinks he can't get his car started when it's really a flat tire. There's just something there.
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