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“Hijack” Review: A Brilliant Thriller on Apple TV+

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Where to stream it? Apple TV+ (premieres June 28)

Starring: Idris Elba, Aimee Kelly, Archie Panjabi, Christie Adams, Max Beesley, Eve Myles, Neil Maskell, Kate Phillips

Written by: George Kay

Directed by: Jim Field Smith

Intro: Hijack Review

The series begins with us seeing a variety of people boarding a plane. There's a couple trying to get their kids settled while onlookers get annoyed as another woman struggles to get comfortable on the flight. Finally, we have a straggler running late, and when he gets to the gate, the attendant tells him it's closed. That's when a stranger (Idris Elba) tells the gate attendant to let him through.

As everyone starts to get settled on the flight, a little girl enters the restroom and finds a bullet on the ground. She brings it to a man who was kind to her on the flight, and he takes it and promises everything will be fine. A few people start to get items out of their duffle bags, and Elba's character begins to get suspicious of them.

Moments later, these terrorists pull out their guns and gain control of the plane. Slowly but surely, they are able to take everyone's phones away from them and gain complete control of the passengers. Regardless of some initial blowback, the terrorists take over control of the final piece of the plane, the cockpit. Just before they can turn off the wifi, Elba gets a message on his phone from his ex-wife. After this, he gets up and tells the terrorists he will help them.

Idris Elba shows why he is one of the best

Time and time again, we watch Idris Elba steal the show in everything that he is in. Heck, he was in Extraction 2 for about five total minutes and ate up the screen. Within Hijack, Elba plays a negotiator trying to work with the terrorists on the flight to crossover and help them get what they want.

Elba is quite subtle and soft-spoken in the role, but what stood out to me was the presence and aura that he brought to the screen. There are times that Elba doesn't even speak, only making gestures and body language, and within that, he is selling these emotions that entice you to what is happening on this plane. The arc of Sam (Elba's character) is beautifully written, and Elba drives it home.

The world building is some of the best of the year

I was sold on Hijack within the first fifteen minutes of the show because George Kay built this intense thriller that hooks you and never looks back. He orchestrates this world-building within each episode. continuously adding more layers to the story. It's hands-down one of the best scripts of the year.

I give a ton of credit to everyone who had anything to do with the series being seven episodes. Each episode represents the seven-hour flight from Dubai to London, and not a single episode more. It's one of the most carefully-crafted series I've seen this year, maybe in the last few years. It wisely puts the viewers in the seat of the plane amid the danger.

Final Thoughts: Hijack Review

I started the first episode and did not stop watching until I saw all seven episodes. It is that good. From top to bottom, this is one of the best-constructed shows of the year and one that will be on my mind for days, even months after.

I give all the credit to what writer George Kay brought to the table with his script, Jim Field Smith for bringing it to life with his direction, and Idris Elba and the ensemble cast for hammering it home with the acting. Put Hijack at the top of your list of shows because you won't find a better show to watch this summer.

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Ricky Valero
Ricky Valero
Ricky Valero is a movie/TV critic whose favorite movies are The Departed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Fast Five, and La La Land. Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, while not watching movies, he is either enjoying the latest Stand-up Comedy special or another dating reality series. He is also a member of the Critic Choice Association, the Hollywood Critics Association, and the Music City Film Critics Association.
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