Hi everyone, Bryan here…
We all remember what took place in New York on January 15th, 2009. Pilots Captain Chelsey ‘Sully’ Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles took an Airbus A320 with 155 passengers aboard out of LaGuardia Airport to their destination. However, a couple of minutes after takeoff, a freak accident with a flock of birds took out both engines of the airplane, leaving the Airbus without any power and no airport immediately in range to land. Making a calculated decision to save everyone’s life, Sully was forced to land the plane in the very cold waters of the Hudson River.
Nobody was seriously hurt or injured and everyone survived and escaped the sinking plane with Sully and Skiles being the last off the plane, making sure everyone was safely rescued. Sully became a national and world hero for his calm and collected demeanor and quick thinking to save everyone’s life. That actually happened almost eight years ago. A character in the film says, “It’s been a while since New York had news this good, especially with airplane in it”, which is the overall feel of the film. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, and a river of cameos, this docu-drama is a feel good film about a man who emulates the golden age of Hollywood heroes in film, but in real life in this case. Captain Sully is “just doing his job”, and doesn’t see himself as a hero.
He is good at his job, is a good family man, and always does the right thing, which is something we used to see in the old Hollywood films. He is always calm, collected, and polite, no matter the issue or obstacle, which is one of the main reasons this true story turned out the way it did. And that is how Eastwood tells this story. ‘Sully‘ has a lot of similarities tot he Denzel Washington film ‘Flight‘, in that both films have a forced airplane landing shortly after takeoff where there are a ton of survivors. Both films have investigations into the pilots on their decisions, but ‘Sully‘ is basically the complete opposite of ‘Flight‘ in that Denzel’s character was dealing with some strong personal issues after the first ten minutes of the film where we see the forced landing.
In ‘Sully‘, Captain Sullenberger (Hanks) is basically the perfect man and we don’t have to see him deal with his demons, other than his long jogs at night around Mnahattan, as the press hounds him and his family at home about being a hero, as well as if his decisions were the right ones. This is Eastwood’s shortest film, running in at 96 minutes. The story is straight and to the point and doesn’t lollygag with any side tangents. Eastwood shows us the forced water landing in the Hudson twice from different perspectives throughout the film, which gives the movie a great pace, instead of showing the whole thing in the first few minutes, followed by 85 minutes of an investigation.
The forced landing sequences itself are shot very well with every detail getting on screen. The suspense and tension are at an all-time high, even though you know everything and everyone turn out okay. Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart are both excellent in their roles and every cameo does a great job too. Eastwood shows again that he is a master at his craft and is showing no sign of slowing down with ‘Sully’. Stay tuned for the credits for a recent reunion with the real Sullenberger and survivors that might call on some tears.