Often the most incredible stories are based on fact. The ‘I can’t believe that actually happened?’ motif goes into overdrive when hearing something spectacular. ‘Sully’ benefits from an amazing tale right out of a fictional story. How and why it happened and its aftermath has become stuff of recent legend. Under the usual steady hand of director Clint Eastwood, ‘Sully’ uncoils the true drama of a flight to danger no one could have foreseen.
In 2009, commercial airline pilot Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) is doing his usual plane take-off. Three minutes into the flight, trouble arises when a pack of geese fly into the plane destroying its engines. With the plane in free-fall and nowhere to land, Sully pilots the plane into the Hudson River. Managing to avert disaster and saving the passengers, he is hailed a hero. That is only the beginning of his journey with the media ready to pounce on his reputation and all he holds dear.
Under Eastwood unobtrusive direction, ‘Sully’ becomes almost an intimate affair. That may sound ridiculous given its story but it effectively manages to delve into what drove Sully’s actions. He isn’t presented as a Christ-like saint, but an ordinary guy thrust into a bizarre situation. How he handles the ensuing fame and accusations of those in power tests his steely resolve. Tom Hanks turns in his usually reliable performance as an every-man doing his best to come to grips with what occurred.
Although the narrative occasionally meanders, Eastwood ensures the facts are easily presented. There are no true heroes or villains here, just people attempting to make sense of a strange event. The CGI works wonder in recreating what happened, making the story more impactful. It is never less than gripping with moments of wry humour and pathos blending well with the dramatic tension.
Wisely keeping the story within a brisk run-time, ‘Sully’ is another fine production from Eastwood. It’s nice seeing a more realistic take on heroism and all it entails. Recent history has offered many amazing stories with ‘Sully’ deftly examining one of them.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 7
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.
Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.