Title – Sully (2016)
Director – Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Cast – Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Mike O’Malley
Plot – After landing his passenger aircraft on the Hudson River that was quickly dubbed the Miracle On The Hudson, pilot Chesley Sullenberger (Hanks) finds his heroism questioned by an investigation team who are looking into the possibility that his actions were not in the best interests of his crews and passengers safety.
“Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time”
Review by Eddie on 13/09/2016
A refreshingly traditional true life tale directed by a traditionally old school director, Sully has delivered Clint Eastwood his best film in a number of years after a string of disappointments in the form of films like Hereafter, J.Edgar and Invictus, with the financially successful American Sniper also far from Eastwood’s best, and it’s an audience pleasing experience that will likely see it play some type of part in next year’s Academy Awards.
Taking a look at both the happenings and closely followed aftermath of the Miracle On The Hudson that saw pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles land an American Airlines flight with 155 passengers on board on New York’s Hudson river after a flock of birds caused engine failures on the plane, Eastwood has within this tale of human courage and lifesaving actions found a vehicle to not only showcase an incredible tale of survival but a thrilling experience that will have you holding onto your cinema seat with a vice like grip.
The initial trailers for Sully barely scratched the surface of the ability Eastwood has enacted upon here as we are thrust between the fateful flight and Sully’s fight to prove his decision was warranted, and the actual incident itself that is shown in numerous forms over the films 90 minute run time, each time offering us another point of view to the occurrence on January 15th 2009. These scenes are Sully’s best and some of the most gripping scenes Eastwood has ever directed, and while the outings outside of the doomed flight might not work to the same level, Eastwood balances out the thrills with heart in outstanding fashion that often allows fellow veteran of the industry Tom Hanks time to shine as well.
Whilst appearing in great thrillers like Captain Philips and last year’s magnificent Bridge of Spies, Hanks has had a rather topsy-turvey decade or so with his projects that has seen some fairly forgettable experiences like Ithaca and Larry Crowne, but Sully provides the esteemed actor with a low-key yet worthy character that he makes his own.
Ably supported by his off-sider Aaron Eckhart as co-pilot Jeff Skiles, Hanks does some of his very best work as Captain Sully, who quickly becomes a likeable and relatable figure who after years of fine work in the cockpit had to make a life and death decision in mere minutes that for various reasons become a scrutinised and publicly huge event. It would not be at all surprising to see Hanks figure as a major part of Sully’s awards campaign.
While it may be to slight for some and sections of the film veer somewhat towards the over dramatic (including a script that could’ve done with a little extra polish), Sully feels like a the type of big Hollywood film this year’s movie event calendar has been sadly bereft of and marks another career win for the evergreen Eastwood and Hanks who here get to show the upstarts how a big budgeted drama is done, both in a set piece and storytelling point of view.
4 Gran Torino billboards out of 5