Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Plane Movie Review : Despite a familiar plot, this action-thriller lands
Plane review: A good action-thriller or survival movie needn’t necessarily rely on an engaging or mind-bending plot or storyline as long as it’s directed and executed well. Director Jean-François Richet’s film doesn’t have much to write home about as far as its premise goes, but he skilfully delivers an outing that has a healthy dose of all the elements of an edge-of-the-seat action drama. A mixed bunch of passengers — dubious, scowling, arrogant, happy campers, and a fearsome-looking Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), who’s an accused murderer being extradited by the FBI — boards Trailblazer’s flight just before New Year’s Eve. Even against his advice, pilot Captain Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) is forced to fly the plane on a route with stormy weather to save fuel and time. As lightning strikes and the plane loses one of its wings, Torrance makes a risky landing on the deserted island of Jolo in the Philippines.
No radio communication, inadequate supplies, and not knowing what to do with the murderer are just the beginning of Torrance’s problems. The audience soon finds out the film is not a survival-of-the-fittest drama, and there are no animals to contend with. Militia and rebels keep things engaging as they take passengers and crew hostage. As the captain, Torrance must save them, and the only person he can turn to is Gaspare.
The unfolding events are predictable and simplistic — Torrance showcasing bravura and rescuing the passengers, Gaspare’s track, and so on. However, Richet’s direction, the action and Brendan Galvin’s cinematography save Charles Cummings’s mediocre story. Cummings also makes up for it in the screenplay (with JP Davis), which keeps the movie taut and does not lose pace.
The flight turbulence scene is brilliantly shot, especially when the plane lurches through thunder and lightning. Butler and Colter’s hand-to-hand combat and fight sequences with the rebels will find favour with action lovers. The actors perform well, as do Yoson An as the co-pilot Dele and Daniella Pineda as the flight attendant.
‘Plane’ is a good ol’ action entertainer that’s a breeze to watch and a welcome break if one suffers from superhero or sci-fi fatigue. If viewed only for what it is, a pure action film with no expectations of a breathtaking plot twist, one can look past the childish and hackneyed premise and still have a good time.