In 2009, Captain Chesley Sullenberger rose to fame as the pilot who safely landed his 155 passengers on the Hudson River after a flock of birds caused a double engine failure.
In Clint Eastwood’s new film “Sully,” Tom Hanks takes on the role of Captain Sullenberger, portraying the aftermath and repercussions of one of the most unusual plane crashes ever seen.
Rather than focusing on the plane crash, the film opens on Captain Sullenberger, or Sully, in a nightmare, imagining the plane he piloted crashing in the middle of Manhattan. When he wakes up, he faces a different nightmare: a media storm where he is the center.
Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) may have just successfully landed a plane on the Hudson, but not everyone is impressed with their act of heroism. The National Transportation Safety Board quickly launches an investigation into the crash and whether or not it could’ve been prevented with an emergency landing.
As the film progresses, the scenes flash between intense moments of the crash, and Sully and Skiles facing the pressures of attention and scrutiny afterwards.
Tom Hanks was perhaps born to play the role of Sully. The human embodiment of hard work and honesty, and being a total dad, Hanks perfectly merges with the persona of Sullenberger.
From the moments of quiet panic in the cockpit to the overwhelmed graciousness in the press junket, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hanks earned some recognition for his portrayal. Though I’m not usually one to generalize, I’d say everyone’s dad is going to love him.
The plot of “Sully” is interesting in a way I haven’t experienced. It’s marketed as a thriller, and the moments of the crash certainly are thrilling (if a little repetitive), but the rest of the movie has the calmest and quietest scenes of intensity in any movie I’ve seen.
Don’t expect explosions or conspiracies, just a lot of Hanks stewing in dark hotel rooms and calm conversations (interrogations) with the NTSB.
Also, knowing ahead of time that the film has a happy ending really just makes for the safest kind of thrill while watching, since all of the uncertainty is removed.
Despite the predictability, “Sully” will still make you feel. You know everything turns out okay, but you’ll still find yourself doubting a happy ending in the courtroom scenes. You know everyone survives, but you’ll still hold your breath as the passengers shuffle out onto the sinking wings of the plane.
While “Sully” may be marketed as a thriller, it’s just as much a feel-good movie.
If you’re looking for a movie that your parents and grandparents would love, or if scary movies are too intense for you and you want to slow it down a little, “Sully” is the perfect movie for you. While it wasn’t outstanding, it was still a solid watch.