The latest Spanish film from Pedro Almodovar falls way short of the expectation mark in this camp comedy, set mainly in the cabin and business class section of a troubled aircraft flying in circles around Toledo in Spain, though it does still include the expected moments of creative perversion. The plane’s landing gear is stuck, courtesy of one distracted Antonio Banderas by his character’s wife Penelope Cruz whilst he was clearing the chocks off the runway (they are only in the film for the duration of this brief scene, the rest of the ensemble cast will probably not be familiar to most audiences outside of Spain).
Something will have undoubtedly been lost in the translation here, and comedy is probably the genre that suffers most from subtitles, but the laughs never really get better than a sub-standard sitcom, and most revolve around the homo, or bi, sexual encounters of the staff as they contemplate a possible incineration on landing, all largely done as fairly obvious farce. It’s a far cry from the dizzy artistic heights of his last film, ‘The Skin I Live In’ back in 2011. For better comedy on a very similar theme, see tv series ‘The High Life’ starring Alan Cumming.