This is one of those movies which are simply good solid entertainment. The fact that I do like Nicolas Cage, even though he is at times really lousy at choosing which movies he participate in, is of course an additional plus.
Naturally I do like the performance of Nicolas Cage in this movie but John Malkowich is also great as the main bad guy and Steve Buscemi is perfect as the nutcase although his role could have been a bit more expanded upon. The rest of the actors are doing nicely as well although it always saddens me to see Colm Meaney playing a dumbass and/or bad guy after his role in Star Trek.
The story is not really bad although it has the usual Hollywood mistakes here and there. The ease by which they pick locks in this high security flight is somewhat laughable and I seriously doubt that they would have been able to haul the plane out of that desert junkyard in flyable condition in real life for instance. Still, it is not a bad story and it works for moving the movie forward.
There are plenty of action and it is mostly quite entertaining. Sometimes it is a bit silly and rather unrealistic of course but, as I wrote, mostly it is quite entertaining. The ending is definitely a bit on the silly side with the plane touching down on the Las Vegas Strip. This bit felt like the producers realized that they had some FX budget left and just had to burn it.
Anyway, on the whole a quite entertaining movie.