Before Wesley Snipes was regulated to Direct-to-DVD Hell and stopped paying his taxes, he starred in this, the second best Die Hard rip-off ever made in the year 1992. (I'd say Under Siege is THE best Die Hard rip-off of 1992.) He plays an off-duty security advisor who happens to get aboard an airplane with a maniacal terrorist (Bruce Payne) who hijacks the plane. Naturally, it's up to Snipes to kick some ass and save the day.
Everybody who's watching Passenger 57 probably already knows what they're getting into. It's a Die Hard rip-off plain and simple. Nobody reinvented the wheel on this one, but that doesn't mean it's not a lot of fun. Although the flick occasionally gets bogged down whenever the plane is on the ground (the cracker cops are especially gratuitous), whenever the plane is flying high, so does the movie. The action sequences are consistently solid and the performances fit the material like a glove. Snipes brings his cool charisma to the table and does a fine job in the ass kicking department. (He gets to display his Kung Fu technique in several scenes.) Payne is appropriately slimy as the villain and the scene where he escapes a plastic surgeon's office (he keeps changing his face) is quite memorable. I also liked seeing a fresh-faced Elizabeth Hurley as one of the highjackers as well as a young (and skinny) Tom Sizemore.
What really makes Passenger 57 different from the glut of Die Hard rip-offs out there is the dialogue. Seriously, this movie features one of the greatest lines in the history of cinema. It comes when Snipes has a verbal showdown with Payne over the telephone. He says (and I quote), "You ever play roulette? Well let me give you some advice... Always bet on black!" No matter how many times I see that shit, I still crack up.
Director Kevin Hooks went on to helm the immortal Patrick Swayze action flick, Black Dog six years later.