TL;DR – Not the biggest or most bombastic action film I have seen, but it knows precisely what it wants to be and makes it work because of that.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime service that viewed this film.
Plane Review –
For a long time, if you went to watch a Gerard Butler action film, you knew entirely what you would get. Some fun moments but no real substance. However, Greenland changed all that, and suddenly things became interesting again. But the question is, can that interest last?
So to set the scene, Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) is running through security, which is important because he is the plane’s pilot. It feels like a relativity typical run on New-Years Day, bar for some weather and for a surprise passenger Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), who is being extradited for a murder. But then a lighting strike takes out all the avionics and radio, giving them only 10 minutes to land the plane before they drop out of the sky. They make a miraculous landing, but getting the plane down might be the easy part.
There is an excellent slow build with the tension as we learn just how much trouble they are in, and the film manages to pull this off twice. The first is when the plane gets hit by lightning, and then when we learn just how much trouble they are in on the ground. Both of these sections work well because, in the first, it taps into a real fear when flying. Secondly, you learn just how bad things are before everyone else, so you see the signs in the abandoned mine before everyone else, and you know just how bad things are about to go. Did I say that the film does this twice because then the movie does it a third and fourth time, oh yes, and then a fifth time, and it works. Every time.
The setting works very well, as long as you are not from the Filipino government or understand the geopolitical realities of the region it is set in. An island outside government control, in an area outside of mobile coverage, where there is no reasonable chance of government rescue. Add to that some former military-trained forces, which is not uncommon on commercial flights and is an entirely plausible scenario. So you don’t need any suspension of disbelief, especially when everyone acts in very predictable and understandable ways.
I liked Gerard Butler in this role of someone who is out of his element yet does his best, and there is a family element here, but wisely they make sure the family is not on the plane as that would have blunted the film’s impact. Mike Colter works as the convict that you are pretty sure is okay but not entirely sure. It was interesting that the cutaway throughout the film was the aeroplane’s crisis team. You don’t usually see this presented in a calm and supportive fashion. However, that might be the fault of Tropic Thunder.
The production is relatively contained, but they make the most of their small budget. They are not using the newest plane, which adds to the film’s vibe. Everyone’s clothes deteriorate as they should in the circumstances, and there are other small touches like that. There is a bit of a generic feel to it all once we get into the towns, but that is not a significant issue. Also, the stunt team does an excellent job of making the military scenes feel sort of genuine. It is also a good reminder of how much you can pack into just over 90 minutes when you have a targeted focus.
In the end, do we recommend Plane? Look, is it trying to be the next bombastic action flick? No. But it does know exactly what it wants to be, and that focus made for an entertaining watch. If you liked Plane, we would recommend to you Violent Night.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of plane
Directed by – Jean-François Richet
Screenplay by – Charles Cumming & J. P. Davis
Story by – Charles Cumming
Music by – Marco Beltrami & Marcus Trumpp
Cinematography by – Brendan Galvin
Edited by – David Rosenbloom
Production/Distribution Companies – MadRiver Pictures, Olive Hill Media, Di Bonaventura Pictures, G-Base, Lionsgate
Starring – Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Tony Goldwyn, Yoson An, Evan Dane Taylor, Paul Ben-Victor, Daniella Pineda, Lilly Krug, Kelly Gale, Joey Slotnick, Remi Adeleke, Claro de los Reyes, Halleigh Hekking & Otis Winston
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: 16; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R
Very nice movie without the usual exaggerations and special effects of disgusting hollywood scams.
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