Apple’s latest TV series, set in 2023, takes us on a gripping journey as Flight KA29 gets hijacked during its seven-hour voyage from Dubai to London. “Hijack,” a seven-part thriller miniseries, created by the brilliant minds of George Kay and Jim Field Smith, showcases Idris Elba’s exceptional acting prowess. Premiering on 28th June 2023, exclusively on Apple TV+, this show promises to keep viewers at the edge of their seats.
As I delved into “Hijack,” I was eager to embrace its potential. However, I couldn’t help but notice the frequent instances that tested my suspension of disbelief. Every few moments, another implausible event unfolded before my eyes, making it quite challenging to fully immerse myself in the narrative. The hijackers themselves seemed woefully unprepared, as if plucked randomly from the streets without any training, entrusted with guns to carry out a hijacking the next day. Astonishingly, none of them possessed the slightest knowledge of piloting an aircraft.
Adding to the perplexity, the pilot, just minutes into the flight, violently attacks his copilot, granting the hijackers access to the cockpit in a bizarre attempt to protect his secret romantic interest, a flight attendant. The ground control receives troubling signals indicating a hijacking, yet the pilot, evidently under duress, dismisses the concerns with a flimsy excuse about a lengthy bathroom break. Astonishingly, this feeble explanation manages to pacify everyone on the ground.
Idris Elba’s character, constrained by the circumstances, manages to send only a cryptic message to his ex-partner, failing to convey the gravity of the situation. This absurdity adds a touch of unintentional humor to the already convoluted plot. Meanwhile, the Romanian fighter jets teeter on the precipice of shooting down the hijacked plane, their thumbs hesitantly inching towards the fateful “shoot down aircraft” button. A last-second twist of events, in a standoff spanning an entire episode, convinces their superiors to retract the order, leaving the plane unharmed. Even after enduring four episodes, I find myself no more enlightened than I was within the first ten minutes of the series.
Idris Elba’s remarkable talent compels me to continue watching, driven by morbid curiosity. Yet, my experience is an oscillation between laughter and exasperation. While “Hijack” may not strive for realism, its gripping nature manages to hold my attention. After four episodes, numerous unanswered questions linger: What led to the creation of this show? Who deemed it a good idea? What kind of leverage was used to enlist Idris Elba’s involvement?
The premise of hijackings since 9/11 raises further queries. Has there been any successful hijacking post-9/11? The tragic events of that day fundamentally altered the perception of allowing planes controlled by terrorists to remain airborne, especially when communication with authorities is nonexistent. Shouldn’t NATO have fighter jets shadowing the aircraft as a precautionary measure? Yet, the British government’s assurances are inexplicably sufficient, prompting all jets to return to base. Apparently, terrorists only target individuals from their own countries, as evidenced by the apathy toward the murder of a female passenger, her lifeless body callously concealed in a mid-cabin toilet. Although she was Australian, the focus remains on saving the terrorist, portrayed as a misled young man who holds affection for his mother.
Speaking of toilets, it strikes me as peculiar that none of the 200+ passengers aboard the hijacked flight appear to have any pressing restroom needs. If such necessities are being attended to in their seats, one can only imagine the unpleasant aroma that would permeate the cabin.
I hold hope that the pilot will meet a fitting demise, considering his despicable assault on his female co-pilot, which stands as one of the most reprehensible and cowardly scenes I’ve witnessed on television. I offer a slight commendation, adding a star to my assessment, in anticipation of his eventual demise, ideally in a manner both agonizing and protracted.
In the grand scheme of things, “Hijack” manages to captivate, although it strays far from realism. Four episodes in, the series maintains an air of mystery, leaving viewers yearning for answers. The show’s pace has been commendable, with each episode concluding on a tantalizing note, leaving us eager for more. In the first episode, it was hard to fathom how a hijacked plane could sustain a compelling narrative. Surprisingly, the pacing proves to be a strength.
Let us not forget that the purpose of shows, movies, and books is to entertain, not to be taken too seriously. I find some common ground with the rest of the world, as we tend to scrutinize and overanalyze. Works like “Bridesmaids,” “Forrest Gump,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Jane the Virgin,” among many others, incorporate elements that provoke questioning. Yet, the aim is to sustain our interest and curiosity. Such climactic moments keep us engaged, wondering what lies ahead.
Despite the naysayers, I find myself thoroughly enjoying “Hijack.” Yes, a certain suspension of disbelief is necessary, but doesn’t that apply to many shows? In fact, I devoured three episodes in one sitting—an unprecedented binge-watching feat for me. Can we consider that an achievement?
The initial episode served as an effective foundation, allowing us to acquaint ourselves with the characters. Within moments, we encounter individuals to admire, such as Abdullah, the diligent air traffic controller, and the Egyptian ex-military veteran. Conversely, we are introduced to characters who elicit disdain, like the entitled mother of four, Colette, and the stern ex-wife. Alice, the British air traffic controller, initially came across as an irksome flake, but once she assumes her role, she shines brilliantly. Give “Hijack” a chance—it might surprise you.
Personally, I find myself engrossed in this show, eagerly anticipating each episode. The first episode, which I watched on the 30th of June, left me yearning for more. To my delight, they released two episodes simultaneously, allowing me to satiate my curiosity. At this point, I have no inkling of what lies ahead. The intentions of the hijackers and their demands remain shrouded in mystery, undisclosed to the viewers. The reprehensible act committed by the captain against his co-pilot, though deeply troubling, may hold some justification.
Apple TV, however, let me down with this series. From the moment the pilot assaulted his co-pilot, a mere 20 minutes into the flight, to enable the hijackers with guns, I found it increasingly difficult to take anything seriously. The decision not to turn the plane around when the opportunity presented itself, just 20 minutes away from takeoff, feels utterly incredulous. Furthermore, the airport official’s ill-fated decision to investigate the TSA agent’s home, witnessing men in hazmat suits cleaning, and proceeding upstairs only to be shot in the bathroom—such illogical choices abound.
The aviation team on the ground becomes progressively more clueless, exhibiting a distinct lack of interest in engaging in meaningful conversations. They appear perpetually irritated, starting every interaction with the vague phrase, “Can I have a word with you.”
Communication becomes a futile exercise, with no one getting to the heart of the matter, merely skirting around it.
Adding to the absurdity, I am expected to believe that Idris, instead of sending a clear distress signal reading “PLANE HIJACKED. GUNS ON BOARD!” chooses to write a cryptic message to his wife, whose priorities lie with the unattractive police officer she is romantically involved with. This action, knowingly causing distress to her son on his crucial day of an interview, fails to convey the urgency of the situation. Disappointingly, Apple TV has let me down with this puzzling decision. As a result, I question whether I will ever watch another series from their platform.
Contrasting opinions abound, and some viewers hail “Hijack” as one of the best series of 2023. Appreciating the unpredictable nature of the show, they advise against heeding the negative reviews. They argue that certain individuals seem unable to function without indulging in negativity, always searching for faults even when faced with glaringly positive aspects. Even my honest review will likely face opposition, as they remain steadfast in their determination to oppose, criticize, and undermine. Let us strive instead to appreciate, motivate, encourage, and professionally acknowledge the hard work put into creating a series like this. In the end, it’s about spreading love and positivity.