A plane crashes in the Mongolian desert and the survivors are stranded with little hope of being rescued. Pilot Frank Towns (Dennis Quaid – D.O.A., The Rookie) is flying a group of workers from a shut down test well of an American oil field in Mongolia when he runs into some bad weather and the plane crashes in the Gobi Desert. The survivors are faced with the harsh environment of the desert and the fact that their few remaining supplies are dwindling. They get together and decide that their only chance for survival is to attempt to rebuild the plane. The task at hand is made more difficult by sandstorms, Mongolian marauders and a lack of food and water.
Some films are begging to be remade and some should just be left alone. The latter is probably the case with this film. Once the plane crashes down, which are probably the best scenes of the whole film, the film continues along at a snail's pace. While the original 1965 version was full of tension and intrigue director John Moore's (Behind Enemy Lines, The Omen) film is fairly uneventful and predictable. With the original its success was based on the building of tension between the survivors and how hopeless their situation seems. There is very little of that in this film. Each character's life is threatened in one way or another and each has their chance to shine in some way. After a few scenes like this we know exactly what is coming next. I know most action films require the audience to play dumb on the occasion, but too much and it takes you right out of that adrenaline rush. Deserts are harsh and without water and food a human would really suffer under those conditions. The characters in this film are able to dig out a plane without suffering many ill effects. We never get the feeling that these people are on the precipice of dehydration or the like. They all look pretty good for people stranded in the desert. Due to the dull nature of most of the characters we end up feeling like we are 'stuck' in the desert with them.
-Original Theatrical Trailer