Synopsis: A pilot finds himself caught in a war zone after he’s forced to land his commercial aircraft during a terrible storm.
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Stars: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Daniella Pineda, Tony Goldwyn
Plane! Yes, this movie is called Plane. We will get to that in a moment. In the meantime, Gerard Butler plays Brodie Torrance, a pilot for Trailblazer Airlines, who is flying passengers from Singapore to Tokyo on New Year’s Eve. Brodie just wants to get home and see his daughter.
The flight isn’t by any means full; there are fewer than 15 passengers. One of the passengers is convicted felon Louis Gaspare played by Luke Cage’s Mike Colter. Gaspare boards the flight in handcuffs with an FBI guard. His silent presence is menacing, but the plan is simple: keep him away from the other passengers and have a safe flight.
I credit director Jean-Francois Richet with patient filmmaking as he develops the story well. Charles Cumming and J.P. Davis have written a script that also takes time to make the audience appreciate the plight of pilots and especially the flight attendants who must deal with entitled passengers and the many frustrations airline crews face regularly.
The plane is struck by lightning, and an emergency landing is required. Captain Torrance lands safely, but the area they are in is anything but.
Tensions start to run high with the passengers as they appear stranded. Back home, the PR machine at Trailblazer Airlines is figuring out all scenarios, and ex-special forces Scarsdale, played by Tony Goldwyn, is at the center of it.
Back at the crash site, the passengers now must deal with separatist rebel militants. Torrance needs a partner, and Gaspare is it. The unlikely duo has to help the other passengers navigate through this situation.
This is an enjoyable movie with good performances, but my biggest pain point is the film’s name. Plane? Really? Is that the best they could come up with? That’s like calling Speed, Bus, or The Shawshank Redemption, Jail, or Sophie’s Choice, Kids . . . I could go on all day.
Name aside, the pacing of the film is good. There is nothing overly surprising about the movie. It hits all the right beats you would expect in a film like this. Establishing the main character, solidifying the villains, etc. That said, I liked it, but that title!
If you can get past the name, Plane offers up some fun excitement and continues to show how versatile Gerard Butler is as an actor. It was also great seeing more of Mike Colter on the big screen.
Plane takes off, it doesn’t soar, but it has a nice cruising altitude.