I've initially watched this movie with the intention of proposing him but surprisingly, I've found two mitigating factors who deserves at least discussion on him.
Red Eye is a 2005 movie made by the late Wes Craven. For those who are not familiar with the filmmakers, Craven is the one who has realized the Screams franchise. One of the very few Craven’s movie that is not a horror and/or fantasy kind, it tells the story of Lisa, a hotel manager who returns in her native home in a night flight. Her place in the plane is just next to a seemingly polite and charismatic man, Jackson Rippner. However, she discovers soon the man is an assassin hired to kill an important political figure and that she must obey to him otherwise his father, hold in hostage by some people, would be killed. Lisa tries to foil the conspiracy to save her father’s life.
The first scene introducing the character is during an argument when he takes defense of an employee against a client who complaint about his retarded flight. Lisa, who also has taken the defense of the employee, forms a bond with Rippner. The man invites her to eat tacos with him in wait for the flight. While initially reluctant, she changes her mind later. They have a discussion on Lisa’s life. She tells she is going home after assisting at her grandmother’s funeral and she has a phobia of planes. The man introduces himself as Jackson Rippner, making a “joke” on killing his own parents.
A call is soon made for the flight of Lisa and at the same time, Jackson has an important call on his phone so he must leave Lisa. Lisa is charmed by him. During the embarkation, she finds coincidentally Rippner sitting next her assigned seat. Amused both by that, they make friendly jokes on each other and the fact Lisa bumped her head against the plane’s ceiling. Spotting a woman needing help to enter her suit, Rippner helps her to do so. Right after, he has another call apparently from his work.
The plane takes off from the airport. Jackson notices Lisa’s fear and appeases her by asking questions on her family. Lisa thanks him for doing that but Jackson tells that was not to appease her but to do his job. He says his job is to kill high-placed peoples. Lisa thinks initially this as a joke but Rippner assures it is not the case. He tells her a guy named Charles Keef is going to the hotel she manages and that she is concerned over that. Thinking he is weird, Lisa refuses to listen but Rippner threatens the life of her loving father if she does not cooperate. Calling for help, Rippner shows her the wallet of her father and since the initials of him and his father are the same, he would have no problem lying to the hostess, telling Lisa is a hysterical woman who became agitated abruptly. An hostess comes to see what she wants and notices Lisa crying but Rippner lies by telling a family’s member of her is dead and she is saddened by that. The hostess believes him.
Right after, Rippner orders her to call the hotel and orders a change of room for Keef. She tries to lie by saying she has not the power to do that but Rippner quickly says she has so. Lisa then asks if Rippner has a formal proof his father is going well and the criminal tells all the address of his father and that he is listening to an emission. Lisa asks to call his father before ordering the transfer of Keef. Jackson agrees. She calls and her father answers. Noticing a distress in her voice, he asks to her daughter if she is alright but Rippner takes the phone and closes it off. Unfortunately for Jackson, a woman asks him to help her put her luggage, distracting him. Taking advantage of this and the fact an elderly woman came to her to talk about her wellbeing book, Lisa writes something in her book. But Jackson notices her and when he sits back, he knocked her off. Awakening 30 minutes later, she notices Jackson with the book of the old woman asleep but alive. He orders again to call the hotel to order the change in exchange of her father’s life. Agreeing to call, an employee answers her and at the moment of ordering the transfer, the plane goes through a cumulonimbus and the lines are cut down. She tries to feign talking however, Jackson notices a random man who was also speaking at phone and trying now to make the telephone work again. A little angry, he brutally grabs off the telephone of Lisa’s hands. Lisa asks what will happen if the interference would last all the flight, to which he replies her father will be dead.
Time after, Lisa asks to go to the restrooms, telling it is urgent. He reluctantly agrees but he watches her, standing up in the halfway. Lisa tries to save herself by faking a bomb alert in the mirror with soap but when she opened the door, Jackson is standing in front of the door and immediately spots what she did. He enters in the restroom with her and forces her to erase all of that. Meanwhile, a little girl who was also waiting hears the conversation between them. But she is brought to her parents by a hostess. Lisa finally makes the call to the hotel and successfully orders the transfer. Then she asks Rippner to call his henchman posted in front of her father’s house and tell him to go, leaving her father safe. But Rippner refuses, telling he must wait until the confirmation of the transfer and the landing of the plane. Saying that, he inadvertently says the Keefs at plurial, implying the family’s target is also targeted and that Jackson Rippner is an assassin.. Lisa is deeply socked and disturbed by this revelation.
They finally arrives to Miami. Lisa feigns to feeling pain because of the knock Jackson gives to her. During she is leaning, she grabs a statue hidden in her sock, unbeknownst to Jackson. Jackson tells him that once they get off the plane, they'll have to go to the terminal, to Starbucks, while he checks to see if everything is fine. Afterwards, he will go away and call his killer to tell him to go away. Lisa confesses to the killer that she was raped in a parking lot by a stranger. She says that since then she's been trying to convince herself that one thing; it will never happen again. Saying that, she stabs Jackson in the neck with the statue, who is in fact a pen. She escapes the plane but she is pursued by the police who thinks she aggressed Jackson. He gets out of the plane jostling people who tried to help him, in his path and goes in search of Lisa. He spots her and the two engages in a chase but Lisa succeeds to escape him by the Miami Subway.
Using Jackson's cell phone, Lisa calls the hotel and tells her secretary, Cynthia, to get the politician and his family out of the room since the terrorists who hired Rippner, are going to attack them. Cynthia gets everyone out of this room and they are safe. When Lisa arrives at her father's house, she runs over the hitman with a car and meets her father, that's when Jackson reappears, who followed her home to finish the job and kill her too.
Lisa defends herself by hiding in the house until she meets Jackson, they both fight and in the beginning, Lisa has the upper hand against Jackson however as the police is about to come in Lisa’s house, the angry assassin grabs Lisa to kill her but Lisa's father appears and incapacitates him with shooting him in the chest. In a deleted scene, he is brought to the hospital alive by paramedics and he will be certainly be imprisoned for his crimes.
Why he doesn't count
I have noticed two mitigating factors on him : ambiguity issues and the heinous standards.
First, for the ambiguity issues, two things. First, as the character section descrives in detail, Jackson Rippner promises Lisa to not kill her father if she complies to his orders. Sure, he could be lying at the end but the movie shows no proof he was not going to keep his word at the end. However, we have no proof he was going to keep his word either but if the movie wanted to show he is PE, there should be one scene who explicitely proves he planned to kill her father eitherway. The second point is the fact he apparently killed his own parents. Again, he has just mentionned that in one scene at the beginning of the movie. This is quite possible of course, but there is no proof of this onscreen, so it could be either true or just a dry joke of his part.
Finally, concerning the heinous standard, while he sets it since he is the main antagonist, I think he never goes beyond it. What he does during most of the movie, threatening the life of Lisa's father if she does not obey and stalking her to elaborate the assassination's plan, is a bit generic according to me. His worst act is at the end of the movie when he lost all composture and tries to kill Lisa and her father in revenge for Lisa's foiling his plans but this is still not particulary heinous. In addition, the terrorists who hired him does worse than Rippner himself by trying to kill an entire family, children included. Sure, Rippner participates in the conspiracy against the family but this not him who gets the idea nor him who tries to kill them. He is only hired to set the stage for his contractors.
For these reasons, I say cut.