Unable to whip up the hysteria of its predecessor, this sequel settles for standardized action spills. Posing as a student in a "Fear of Flying" seminar that prepares the chicken-hearted for air travel, terrorist huckster Elliott (Jeffrey Nordling) actually intends to transport a toxic weapon stolen from the Czech Republic. Having duped his girlfriend Jessica (Jennifer Beals) who has a genuine fear of flying Elliott boards TransCon's special Tuscon-to-LA flight with his secret weapon ensconced in the cargo hold. The crew of scaredy-cats includes Martin (Craig Sheffer), an airplane designer traumatized by the death of his wife in a crash. When several passengers pass out from spiked drinks, TransCon security suspects the shifty Czech passengers. But mastermind Elliott eventually shows his true colors and seizes the aircraft. While Elliott's busy issuing demands, Martin and Jessica embark on a mission to dump the chemical weapon over the ocean. But the increasingly rattled Elliott starts dropping passengers out of the plane and then kills the pilot. Can Martin overcome his stratos-fear and fly the plane to safety? Although this film;s plot developments grow increasingly strained, the lunatic exposition is neither bracingly suspenseful nor liberatingly campy. By the time the Navy aims a missile at the plane (the top brass are more than willing to shoot it down rather than let it contaminate Seattle), the screenplay has passed the no man's land of plausibility and landed in the elephant's graveyard where bad scripts go to die. Nordling's sleek villainy and the chemistry between Sheffer and Beals are by far the best things about this nuts-and-bolts action picture.
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