On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
What We Thought:
Sully is a perfectly fine film that has great parts and unnecessary parts. Tom Hanks is his perfectly fine self and depending on how the year plays out, could find himself being nominated for awards because he’s Tom Hanks.
I’ll start with the positives. There are scenes with extreme intensity. The actual crashing of the plane was pretty intense. The two pilots trying to figure out what to do and if they could make it to an airport before ultimately landing it in the Hudson was as realistic and intense as you can imagine. Seeing the passengers exiting the plane on the water and being rescued by ferry boats and rescue boats was pretty nerve-wracking as well. Those scenes were really good.
Unfortunately the film isn’t just about the crash and rescue. It gets into the aftermath and investigation into whether or not Sully and his co-pilot could have gotten to land. Clint Eastwood makes the FAA his “villains” of the movie and you get upset when the FAA goes after our “hero” Sully and tries to get into his personal life. Sully makes the TV rounds talking about the miracle and 155 people surviving while the FAA wants to know how much sleep he got and how often he drinks. Did the FAA go after him like that in real life? I’m not sure.
Some people had issues with the time jumping and fantasy sequences. If you can pay attention they are easy to follow, but hey not everyone is that bright. The time jumping didn’t bother me, but the fantasies didn’t really work for me. I didn’t see the point of Sully envisioning horrific crashes days after not killing anyone.
I also didn’t see the point of Laura Linney’s character. She plays Sully’s wife who he calls to get comfort from time to time. It’s pretty much the same plot device Sienna Miller served in Eastwood’s previous film American Sniper. There’s also side stories about the passengers that were to get the audience engaged and make them human so we root for their survival, but none of it really was necessary to me.
The ending to Sully also feels really rushed. The film is just over 90 minutes which is shocking for a story like this especially from Eastwood and Hanks. It ends on a one liner and credits roll. I was expecting the film to be more about the crash and rescue than the FAA trying to crucify Sully afterwards, but I guess overall the film is fine. Fans of Hanks will eat it up and if you are a fan of his or Eastwood, then it is…
Cast & Crew:
- Tom Hanks
- Director Clint Eastwood
- Aaron Eckhart
- Laura Linney
- Anna Gunn
- Mike O’Malley
Recommended If You Like:
- Tom Hanks