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Hijack review: Idris Elba's plane thriller has its moments but is too predictable to soar

The Apple TV+ show premieres on Wednesday 28 June

Idris Elba in Hijack. (Apple TV+)
Idris Elba in Hijack. (Apple TV+)
  • 📺 Where to watch Hijack: Premieres on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, 28 June with its first two episodes, and it will air weekly thereafter.

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 3/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: 24, Non-Stop, Olympus Has Fallen

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Idris Elba, Neil Maskell, Archie Panjabi, Eve Myles, Max Beesley, Ben Miles.

  • How long is it? 7 episodes, approximately one hour each.

  • 📖 What’s it about? On a seven-hour flight bound for London, negotiator Sam Nelson must put his skills to use when his plane is hijacked by domestic terrorists.

Idris Elba's first, and so far only, collaboration with Apple TV+ will soon arrive on the streaming platform, bringing the actor back to the action genre with Hijack.

The seven-part series sees Elba portray Sam Nelson, a negotiator who happens to get onto a plane that is bound for London from Dubai and is the subject of a hijacking by domestic terrorists, led by Stuart (Neil Maskell).

Read more: Idris Elba doesn’t want to play James Bond

With time ticking away, Sam must use all of his skills to resolve the situation before it's too late.

Neil Maskell in Hijack. (Apple TV+)
Neil Maskell in Hijack. (Apple TV+)

Told across each hour on the plane in the style of 24, Hijack is a tense thriller that explores the lengths that Sam and others will go to in order to bring the plane down safely.

As he does so, air traffic controller Alice Sinclair (Eve Myles) tries her best to unravel what is happening on the flight and get those in power to take the matter seriously.

As a whole, Hijack is an intriguing story that will excite those looking for an action-packed series that is also an easy watch. The Apple TV+ show is nothing if not entertaining, and as the tension builds viewers will find themselves wanting to know more, especially after the shocking cliffhangers that each episode is left on.

Eve Myles in Hijack. (Apple TV+)
Eve Myles in Hijack. (Apple TV+)

Elba gives a strong performance as Sam whose negotiation tactics may come as a surprise to some, whilst Maskell lends a gruffness to Stuart that makes his character a terrifying force and is something that hasn't been done much before in a show of this nature.

Read more: The Crowded Room review: Tom Holland proves himself in thrilling Apple TV+ drama

The fact that Hijack avoids relying on racial stereotypes to tell its story is certainly a plus in the show's favour though some of the storylines, such as the one focused on Dubai air traffic controller Nasir (Nebras Jamali), feels far too underdeveloped to really make as much of an impact as it could have done.

Idris Elba in Hijack. (Apple TV+)
Idris Elba in Hijack. (Apple TV+)

That being said, while the show has its moments it does little to hide the fact that Hijack's narrative is one that we've seen many times before.

The predictability of Hijack's plot dampens the experience of it, with only one twist really coming as a shock in a series full of cliches and plot holes that are hard to ignore.

Hijack: What other critics thought

Everything is a bit too perfectly placed in Hijack for the stakes to ever get that high, for example, and with a show that's so reliant on building tension with its dramatic scenes the narrative almost simplifies things too much for it to feel really groundbreaking.

Hijack may not be breaking any new ground but that doesn't mean it won't make for an entertaining watch for some, at the very least it is an average action-packed blockbuster that will help pass the time.

Hijack premieres on Wednesday, 28 June with its first two episodes on Apple TV+, and it will air weekly on the platform thereafter.

Watch the trailer for Hijack: