Directed by legendary director and actor, Clint Eastwood (Grand Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven), there is no way Sully won’t be a hit. With the winning combination of Eastwood and Tom Hanks (Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Castaway) there’s bound to be some tense, emotional magic. It is pleasing to note, that after 90 gripping minutes Hanks and Eastwood have shown an A-grade actor plus an A-grade director definitely equal an A-grade film.
Sully tells the true story of how, on January 15 2009, Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger successfully landed his severely disabled plane on the Hudson River after both engines were taken out by a flock of geese. Remarkably, he managed to save all 155 passengers and crew on board, and was hailed a hero the world over. What we find out though, is that while being called a hero in public, behind the scenes, investigators (and the airlines insurance company) were trying to destroy Sully’s reputation and 42-year flying career.
Through the use of flashbacks and conversations with his wife (Laura Linney), we get a great insight into the state of Sully’s mind at the time of the investigation. There may be some artistic licence and creative liberties taken, but Eastwood has generally based the film on Sully’s book about the events, Highest Duty.
Eastwood has directed the film almost episodically as it jumps from the incident to the investigation to flashback and back again. Although the audience knows how it will end (with the plane landing on the river and everybody saved), the action is still toe curling and teeth gritting as the plane glides through the air with no engines.
Hanks puts in a magnificent performance as Sully, but also impressive is Aaron Eckhart playing Sully’s co-pilot, Jeff Skiles. The pair work so well together that it created a drawback for the film, in that the performance of the passengers on the plane was overacted, distracting and cartoonish.
Sully is jam packed with Hollywood talent; it seems like everyone wanted to make an appearance in this film and, if you stay around for the end credits, you can see the real life Sully and the 155 passengers and crew, which is really heart warming. If you are waiting for a bad Tom Hanks film, this is not the one. This joyous, spirit-lifting, true-life tale will leave you with a smile and a swollen heart.
Reviewed by: Shane Berketa