By Luke Carry
Friday sees Tom Hanks crash land on our screen as Captain Chesley Sullenberger, pun intended. Hanks’ newest movie, Sully, sees him take on the role of Sullenberger, the hero responsible for saving all of his passengers during an ill-fated flight from New York.
Based on a true story, it’s hard to forget Sullenberger’s real life heroics of landing the aircraft in New York’s Hudson River. The story at the time sought to make a celebrity of a man who, for all his heroic efforts, never really seemed to want the limelight.
In this respect, Hanks is expertly cast. Playing the role with great humility he lets us explore the human side of Sullenberger, which is really what this film is about.
A supporting cast of Aaron Eckhart, as co-pilot Jeff Skiles, works well with Hanks to create a very real feeling during the in-flight sequences. Hanks always seems to have a warmth to his characters that transcends most boundaries. Similarly to that, Sullenberger is a hero for all. This performance helps to carry the film through its faults.
The National Transport Safety Board are the villain here, trying to pin the incident on pilot error which would in effect, end Sullenberger’s career. Or at least they are portrayed to be.
Clint Eastwood directs at a pace that will keep the audience captivated and entertained throughout. The film does at times try to be something it’s not. It all gets a little muddled when we delve into the investigations taken against Sullenberger and his crew. While these events took place, and are part of the true narrative, they seem to try to matter more than they ever could. The real story is Sullenberger.
While not living up to its full potential, Hanks and Eastwood have enough experience to carry the film to a rather safe landing.
Sully is an enjoyable tale of the everyday man achieving the extraordinary and triumphing in the face of adversity. Suitable for all the family and at just over 90 minutes it makes for an easy enjoyable ride.