“Sully” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

2 December, 2016

Director: Clint Eastwood
Screenwriter: Todd Komarnicki
Director of Photography: Tom Stern
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart

Synopsis: A retelling of the astonishing events that took place on 15th January 2009 when a pilot with over 40 years experience used his abilities to land a severely damaged plane on the Hudson River; an achievement that saved the lives of all 155 passengers on-board.

Sully Review:

An accessible take on an event so unparalleled that it practically rewrote the aviation handbook, “Sully” shows us that anything is possible, even when a situation appears to be completely unsalvageable. The story of Captain Chesley Sullenberger isn’t one to be taken lightly though and Clint Eastwood chooses his usual stone-faced approach as he volunteers to direct the film with a level of professionalism that matches its key players.

You know you did something right if Tom Hanks is playing you in a Hollywood movie and Sully’s story is as extraordinary as his reputation suggests. Although Eastwood stereotypes the passengers and amps up the sense of injustice, he perfectly frames the miracle landing, rightly suggesting numerous times that it was an event completely out of the scope of reality for most pilots.

The accuracy of “Sully” is present not only in Hanks’ mild-mannered approach to his character but also in the overall sensibility of the movie. This is a story about a level-headed man who cares first and foremost about the safety of others and, even though his nature is severely tested by a panel of baffled superiors, it’s never enough to make him doubt his own proficiency. The movie isn’t about sentiment, it’s about triumph, even in its most unfair and undignified moments.

“Sully” is a film depicting a person of both immense skill and great compassion; a pilot who not only averts certain tragedy but one who uses his humanity to fuel his skills in the face of danger. His heroism is both a miracle and a curse as the perfect guy for the job saves hundreds of people only to be picked apart by an unforgiving group of safety experts.

Although “Sully” sets itself up to be a straight-forward courtroom drama, Eastwood makes sure to divert away from the limitations of such a movie in order to provide the thrills and fraught emotion of a full-scale action movie. As the director repeatedly braces Sully for impact, a series of PTSD-informed moments of terror show a brave man suffering from the aftermath of sheer terror. It’s not merely the event itself that pushes the pilot to the limits, but also the times of intense questioning and speculation and this is where the movie really makes its mark as a poignant take on human error.


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