A few weeks ago, while at an advanced screening of one of the many films I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this summer, something rare happened. They played a preview. This is not the norm for the movies I usually go to see. 7:30pm start time means the movie will be rolling at that time, no 15 minutes of previews like during a standard showing. While I am admittedly a preview junkie and live for those first glimpses of the newest nerd flick I will undoubtedly attend on opening weekend, I don’t mind sitting down in the theater and getting right to the meat of things. However, on this rare occasion that a preview was played, I was intrigued by the latest installment to Tom Hanks extensive acting library, a based on true events tale of the US Airways plane that was struck by birds and forced to land in the Hudson River, Sully.
Hanks is the go to actor for any kind of character study type film like this. Little dialogue and a lot of emotion needing to be expressed through close up shots, Tom Hanks is your guy. Who else could pull off a movie where you costar is a volleyball? He is great as the stand up guy, sticking to his guns in the face of a challenge or stumbling over his awkwardness as he chases the girl, that average Joe charm and goofy yet sly sense of humor makes him perfect for these roles, however they are also really easy for him too. Sully is that same kind of character in a movie that is basically an in depth news report of an interesting true event brought to life by great actors.
In 2009, U.S. Airways flight #1549, en route from LaGuardia to Charlotte, North Carolina, suffered dual engine loss after a bird strike, not long after taking off. For the 155 people on board that flight, they were lucky enough to have Captain Chelsey Sullenberger in the cockpit that day. Making a split decision call, he successfully landed the plane on the Hudson River in the middle of January. Hailed as a hero by the passengers, press, and seemingly most of the country, the airline however, was a different story. In an effort to protect the bottom line and company reputation, US Airways launched a full scale internal investigation into the incident, causing Sully to question his decisions and find himself in a soul searching situation.
Its all just too safe. Don’t get me wrong, Captain Sullenberger and his tale are heroic, but did it really need a movie? Hanks could’ve played this role in his sleep. It just feels like all fluff and no filling. Its predictable and besides the incredible true story at the heart of the film, it doesn’t hold much entertainment value. I’m a huge Hanks fan but I want to see him challenged , this movie was like watching an all star take on a rookie, sure the rookie has heart but the outcome is clear and the event itself just becomes lackluster. Written and directed by Clint Eastwood, you wonder what would make Hollywood’s most talented and successful men come together for a project like this.
Not a bad movie, just not a stand out movie for Eastwood, Hanks, or costar Aaron Eckhart. Its definitely an easy watch, not to say that you cant respect and admire Sully for being a badass, making a successful water landing, and for the class he handles the situation with. The problem is that overall its just your average, decent movie, one you can be confident taking your mom or grand mom to, but if you’re looking for action or something with a little more substance in your movie theater going experience, this definitely isn’t your choice. However, when it becomes available to rent, its def worth the couple of bucks it costs to watch, but probably not worth the salaries that Eastwood or Hanks took home for their jar of fluff.