Personally speaking, there hasn’t really been any character in a film or series that Idris Elba couldn’t pull off. Be it a genie, a detective, or a villainous cyborg, Idris’s on-screen presence, in whatever form he takes, is very strong. In Hijack, we find him on a plane that is hijacked. But who is he? How will he be able to subvert the schemes of the hijackers? This is a game of patience and skillful thinking. Hijack Episode 1 is just the beginning of a very long flight.
Sam Nelson is on his way to see his wife, Marsha. He is boarding the Kingdom Airlines A330 flight from Dubai to London. We are unsure whether they are divorced or not, but they are separated, and Marsha is now with another man [Daniel]. Sam and Marsha’s son is with her. Sam’s chat reveals that he is coming to resolve issues, but he has no idea that he is about to face a much bigger issue, one that will require more than just love and understanding. It will require skills.
The scene inside the flight is just like one can imagine: little kids making a racket as their parents try to figure out where to put all the luggage, an elderly husband trying to bribe the cabin crew so that his wife can be more comfortable in the business class, a young couple in all its sweetness, the pilots [Captain Robin Allen and first officer Anna Kovacs] having some fun with their guide at Dubai traffic control, Arthur of the cabin crew joking with Colette, his co-worker, who is having an affair with Allen, and more. After the flight takes off, Naomi, a young lady who is traveling with her friends, finds a bullet in the lavatory. This is very unusual, and since she has no idea what to make of it, she shows it to another man, who introduces himself as Marcus and says he’s going to speak to the captain about it. But that’s not the truth. He goes and meets another guy [Stuart], and it is decided that whatever they are planning has to be brought forward. This is when we realize that the bullet belongs to them, and God knows how many more are involved. Nelson notices this conversation but has no reason to think that they are talking about a hijack. One has to be paranoid to think like that.
Marcus, whose real name is Terry, then puts on a cap that seems to be the green signal for his team to execute their plan. Nelson also notices wash bags being handed around and finds out that the airline doesn’t provide wash bags. Terry tells Naomi and her friends Mona and Kacey that, as per the cabin crew, someone dropped the bullet during a security check. However, Mona isn’t satisfied with the answer and calls one of the cabin crew, Arthur, only to find out that he has no idea about any bullets. Terry notices this and realizes they need to act before the crew does. Within a few minutes, Terry, Stuart, and many others pull out their guns. The plane is thus hijacked. Nelson remains unusually calm and texts Marsha about the situation. He also reassures her that he is coming home soon. But how? There’s surely more to him than meets the eye.
Once the passengers and the crew are taken care of, and the hijackers take away all the electronic gadgets from the passengers, Stuart knocks on the cockpit door. Allen confirms with his Dubai counterpart about a “security incident,” which is just surreal to me. A security incident?! Is this the lingo that the pilot is supposed to speak in when there is a man with a gun roaming around the plane? Is this so that there isn’t any panic? A security incident is when someone brings a knife onto the plane or when there is a fistfight. When a person is holding a gun, just report that there is a person on the plane with a gun. Either this or I’m just prone to panic. Maybe they should just go and ask the person if he wants to hijack the plane, or did he just forget to check in his gun? It just blows me away to think how people are scared to mention the word “terrorist” on a plane, especially Americans and the Britishers. This is what happens when you try to avoid raising the alarm. Remember when, in Due Date, Zach Galifianakis’s Ethan mentioned “terrorist” to Robert Downey Jr.’s Peter on the flight, and both just got arrested? I find that ludicrous.
Anyway, coming back to Hijack, Peter needs to take control of the cockpit so that the plane can be maneuvered towards whichever location they intend to take it to. He uses Colette as bait because he knows that Allen, the captain, and she are having an affair. Anna can see Allen’s spirit breaking, and he ultimately unlocks the door after hitting Anna and breaking her nose when she tries to stop him. It’s only natural for him to do that. Whether one person’s life matters more than a hundred is a question that isn’t for a human to answer. Allen then has to report back to the Dubai authorities that the security concern was a false alarm, but the guy he is speaking to isn’t convinced. We see this later as well when he speaks to his colleague. While he says that he is relieved, his expression says otherwise. But what can he really do from there for a flight that has already left Dubai airspace? Meanwhile, a female baggage handler at the Dubai airport from which the A330 flight took off, receives a call from her husband who sounds distressed. Their daughter can be heard screaming in the background. She rushes back home and finds that there’s no one there. Is she involved in the hijack? Did the hijackers use her to get on the plane with the guns in return for her family’s lives? We can’t tell for sure.
What Is On Nelson’s Mind?
Nelson is keeping his cool. He even stops a couple of guys from taking on the hijackers because he doesn’t want to make the situation worse. The passengers have already been given a warning in the form of a note read by one of the air hostesses. For now, the hijackers are calm, but if someone tries to act smart, one doesn’t know if they won’t pull their triggers. Back in London, Daniel is told by Nelson’s son and Marsha that Nelson is hired by big companies during takeovers, mergers, and anything of the sort. As per Marsha, he is “the best” at handling negotiations. Hijack Episode 1 ends with Nelson slowly leaving his seat and approaching Stuart. He is ready to make an offer—an offer to help the assailants.
So now we know why Nelson is so calm. It is his job to negotiate. No offense, but the hijackers look amateurish, and their only weapon is their guns. Nelson’s weapon, which is considered the greatest there ever was in the history of human evolution, is his brain. What is the offer that he is willing to make? And what does he mean when he tells Stuart that he wants to help them? Things are just starting to pick up speed onboard the A330 flight, and there’s a long way to go.