Airplane Mode (2020) – Netflix Film Review


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Airplane Mode is a very safe, very predictable film that does little to deviate from the tried and tested. It’s a 90 minute flick that takes the concept of digitalisation and healthy online habits and blends it into a rom-com set-up with a group of cookie cutter characters. Across its run-time, the film does get better toward the end, with an injection of likability for our main protagonist Ana, but beyond that there isn’t a whole lot else here worth getting excited about.

The story itself revolves around social media influencer Ana. This Brazilian girl is a massive hit online and regularly puts her online persona before her own health. After a string of previous near-misses in her car thanks to using her phone, Ana’s boyfriend publicly breaks up with her while broadcast online for likes and hits. It’s one step too far for this influencer and she winds up in a head-on collision as she argues on her phone while driving home. With some damning charges against her, Ana is forced into the difficult decision of either facing jail-time or giving her phone and digital persona up for some quality R&R with her grumpy grandfather in the countryside.

It’s a tough choice for Ana but eventually she settles on giving up her phone and dealing with the addictive blow-back. Out at the sun-drenched cabin in the remote village, she meets a charming young man named John and the rest of the story takes a predictable turn as Ana’s character calms down from the volatile, bratty persona we begin with into something a little more relatable and warm.

Stylistically at least, there are some nice ideas here and the early shots of phones flashing up with texts, reaction shots that are at odds to the stifled expressions from users and various full-frame Instagram-esque photos all solidify this digital world we now find ourselves in. The film does do a pretty good job capturing this even if it is a little exaggerated and over the top.

Between the montages and light characterization for the people we meet along the way, Airplane Mode just doesn’t have much else worth getting excited about. The story is a rehash of an age-old archetype we’ve seen a million times before and Ana isn’t really that likable until around 40 minutes in. The result is something that’s instantly recognisable and a good enough flick to throw on if you’re in the mood for predictable entertainment but beyond that, there just isn’t enough originality with this one to make it something you’ll remember for long after watching.


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  • Verdict - 4/10

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