Passenger 57 was a 1992 Wesley Snipes vehicle that placed the cartoonish action of Die Hard inside the skin of a jetliner. While the film's pasted-in suspense and general dullness long ago relegated it to the "do not rent" pile, Snipes' memorable tagline -- "always bet on black" -- has continued to resonate in pop culture. For the purposes of this soundtrack, the line might be tweaked to read "always bet on bass." It falls to contemporary fusionist Stanley Clarke to illustrate the supposed tension of Passenger, and against all odds the ex-Return to Forever bassist largely pulls it off. "Lookin' Good (Cutter's Theme)" pops with Member's Only cool, while "Rane to Plane" -- which introduces the film's hijacking villain -- stutters with spikes of percussion and a dirty bassline. The rest of the set alternates between contemporary jazz instrumentals typical of Clarke and pieces that are appropriate to the film's most tense moments, even if, in the actual film, that tension is buried under hackneyed pacing and laughable predictability.
Passenger 57 Review
by Johnny Loftus