Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
The man who we will come to know as Cole (Anthony Montgomery) wakes up on an airplane.  He looks around, sees a few other people, walks to the bathroom to wash his face and asks himself, while looking pretty darned pissed off, why in the world is he on an airplane?  Cole will sport a mad-on throughout this entire movie called 'Chariot'.  Soon he is joined in consciousness by Emily (Brianna Palencia) who might be pissed off as well, but Briana Palencia has a mouth on her that was mighty distracting so I'm not sure if she was mad or not.  Eventually they wake up the other five people on the plane and begin the process of figuring out why they were all unconscious, on an airplane, to destinations unknown. 

So Michael (Joe Nemmers), who by chance happens to be the Secretary of Transportation, is freaking out.  Aden (Ian Sinclair), the IT Guy figures it is a straight up conspiracy.  The there's Genevieve (Michelle Sherill) who looks to be the Connected Chick and we're betting she probably has the real lowdown on what might be going on.  Rounding out the crew we have Belinda (Leslie Hippensteel) who is just an ordinary housewife and Ra (David DaLao) who got immediately KTFO'd when he came around because he was freaking was out the worst. 

The mystery remains, why were these disparate individuals drugged and put on an airplane?  Thanks to a conveniently placed cellphone, because obviously no one here has theirs, we have learned that the U.S. is under attack and it is looking bad.  Then we learn about the Chariot Program, a government safety valve used in case of a dire emergency to secure the most important people in our country and ferry them to a secure location to keep them safe, and we here in the United States, at this moment in time in this movie, are in a the midst of a pretty serious emergency.  Problem is, as Cole mentions, that he as truck driver, Emily the housewife and the few other people they have on this sparsely populated plane can hardly be deemed as inexpendable.  More troublesome is that the predetermined destination for this plane has been nuked, and the pilots have orders to go this place come hell or high water.  Oh, then there's the random dead body in the bathroom complicating matters even further.
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The options for our heroes are extremely limited in this situation.  The pilots are armed and will come out blasting if they come out of the cockpit at all, and of course all isn't quite what it seems.  And ever since a certain day in September back in 2001, planes flying around all willy nilly in our airspace are generally frowned upon.  It is not looking good.

Recently we have seen a number of these 'strange occurrences on an airplane' films such as '7500' or 'Airborne' or 'Altitude', and why not, as it seems like a fairly simple and inexpensive enough of a setup.  Put some people on a set that halfway resembles a fuselage, turn down the lights a little bit to make things creepy, and now all that's left is to  craft a narrative that somehow fits.  Now the problem with those other films, was despite promising starts… those movies kind of fizzled out to varying degrees as they reached their conclusions, or their big reveal.  I am pleased to say that 'Chariot' did fare much better than those movies, but it too had some issues maintaining its momentum, and had an ultimate ending which I don't think is going to please too many people.

As it starts out, director Brad Osborne plays his hand well.  We wake up with the character of Cole, we are completely in the dark, as all of the characters are… are at least most of the characters… we get the information as they get information, the atmosphere is tense and the actors are doing a fine job in bringing us into this rather unsettling situation that they have found themselves in, as we experience there confusion and frustrations right along with them.

Eventually we get to some of the reasons why these people are stuck on this airplane, and while it is little out there, it's not so crazy that we can't trick ourselves into still rolling with it, but things really start to stretch out our already frayed cord of believability when everything involved in why certain people are on this plane begins to unravel.  Now it was actually pretty entertaining watching these completely insane and somewhat illogical plot points develop, it's just that the believability factor, and the movie did have a fairly heavy dose of believability anchoring it down when the movie first began, just kind of got a little ridiculous.  And the ending is somewhat open ended.  Probably not really, if you think about, but maybe a little.

But still, with fine performances all around, led by Anthony Montgomery who always seems to give solid performances in the films I've seen him in, mostly small movies like this one, 'Chariot' was a surprisingly effective thriller that held on just enough to its slipping grip on reality to still deliver some solid entertainment.
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