Airplane Review: A fun, powerful and violent Gerard Butler vehicle

Finally, a movie that answers the question: What if Captain Sully had landed that flight right in the middle of a 1980s action movie on steroids?

As rugged, weathered and simple as the Reagan-era airliner that lends this January film its poetically blunt title, Jean-François Richet’s “Airplane” will be the side of Gerard Butler’s most aeronautical vehicle, “Greenland.” a question that Clint Eastwood didn’t even have the guts to ask: What if, instead of ditching US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River like a complete loser, Capt. Sully Sullenberger had been man enough to transport the baby in the middle of the world. an ’80s action movie on steroids? You know the breed! The kind where it’s a vaguely racist male-army spectacle, where a few hot English-speaking people are forced to get out of a stuffy foreign jungle full of native gunmen, and climax with shoulder-heavy baddies. mounted rocket launchers that Southeast Asian henchmen keep on hand in case Sylvester Stallone decides to reboot “Rambo.”

No disrespect to Sully, but he probably wouldn’t have been able to rescue any of his passengers from the Philippines’ lawless Jolo archipelago, a miserable hive of scum and scoundrel lost by the national military to ISIS and its ilk. Luckily for the motley crew of hotties and character actors on Trailblazer Airlines’ ill-fated New Year’s Eve flight from Singapore to Tokyo, a Scotsman named Brodie Torrance (Butler, duh) is in the cockpit tonight. there is nothing on Earth to stop him from returning home to his beloved daughter, whatever her name may be.

Nothing!! Not the lightning he’s forced to fly through because his corporate bosses value profits over human lives, not the ultra-violent separatists who control the sweaty jungle he’s forced to crash the plane into, or even the Luke Cage-sized prisoner (Mike). Colter as Louis Gaspare, who beamed from the screen for days), whom Brodie was transporting on the plane and refuses to let him out of the handcuffs… even though it’s hard to take a flight risk without a working plane, and the guy hasn’t committed any crimes. since someone was killed 16 years ago.

Needless to say, Brodie – presumably stuck on the crappy routes in a grief-induced tailspin after hitting a passenger on camera – may not be the only beefcake to find redemption on the Jolo Islands. Not that it matters. This may come as a shock to you, but this story is not particularly concerned with the pathos of the characters. After all, the movie about Sully was called “Sully” and the movie about Brodie Torrance was called “Plane.” And yet we still it never becomes clear what nice it’s a plane!


Which is not to say that Richet’s film isn’t interested in how to fly. Co-authored by airport novelist Charles Cumming (who originally envisioned it as a book), “Plane” is father cinema. air mail and especially, is aimed more at the middle-aged masses hungry for raw meat than anyone hoping for a silly cheese fest. Where other films like this over-eat the action, it’s charming how patiently this 107-minute romp sinks into the cockpit, letting Brodie go through little checklists as if he were a real pilot. Here, Richet proves himself a worthy replacement for Butler’s regular Ric Roman Waugh, and the rhythm of these early scenes sets the tone for a film that feels established long before it’s knocked out of the sky, and remains so good. after the killing has begun.

Butler knows his strengths like a bad guy’s broken neck, and he’s rarely bent them more than he does here; He became one of the few bona fide movie stars in 21st century Hollywood by accepting the fact that he was clearly born to movie star at the end of the century, and it’s mesmerizing to watch him inspire savvy schlock willing to match the honest punchline. The “plane” is tense when it needs to be tense, gratuitously violent when it needs to get the blood out (it’s been a minute since a bad guy’s body is emulsified by heavy artillery like it is here), and the CGI is just strong enough that a third act hold on for dear life during which you can afford some sneaky effects.

Supporting actors also add to the overall credibility of the project. “Cowboy Bebop” actress Daniella Pineda adds a compelling flair to her role as a thankless flight attendant, “Mulan” breakout Yoson An makes for a sweetly devoted co-pilot, and the ever-recognizable Joey Slotnick does a great job with the “most annoying” adjective. passenger in the world,” while Tony Goldwyn and Paul Ben-Victor anchor the airline’s crisis response with immaculate brutality during scenes shared in a New York boardroom.

Half-Filipino stuntman and fight coordinator Evan Dane Taylor probably won’t inspire glowing odes to the Southeast Asian representation for his role as a murderous pirate leader whose livelihood depends on kidnapping white foreigners for ransom, but the guy looks great on screen, and it exudes the pinched nastiness needed to sell a film like this.

That the Puerto Rican “airplane” generally looks like a third-world hellscape in the Philippines, with a government that doesn’t lift a finger to save the people in crisis, is somewhat softened by the film’s similarly damning stance on on American capitalism; it’s a cruel world, and our only real heroes are a few sweaty men willing to go commando—or at least go “commando”—when people threaten them with machine guns. “Plane” may not take you anywhere you’ve never been, but buying a ticket to see the movie “Plane” will most likely take you exactly where you want to go.

grade: B-

Lionsgate opens “Plane” in theaters on Friday, January 13.

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