Discover more from The Mendez Movie Report
Survive Together Or Die Alone
After a heroic job of successfully landing his storm-damaged aircraft in a war zone, a fearless pilot finds himself between the agendas of multiple militias planning to take the plane and its passengers hostage.
Look, its no secret that Gerard Butler has found it comfortable to just be the action guy doing run-of-the-mill action flicks that come-and-go and pretty much leave no indelible mark on the year in film. His output has been very hit or miss, and I’d be lying to you if I said I was that excited to check out one of his films. Not necessarily because they’re guaranteed to be bad, I leave that task to Liam Neeson these days, but because I know I’ll almost forget the movie existed to begin with by year’s end. Not to mention we’re talking about a January film here and we know the track record of January films when it comes to quality.
When I saw the trailer to Plane I knew the internet was going to meme this to death. A simple title with one word that describes a vehicle that almost the entire plot doesn’t even revolve around. But to the film’s marketing’s credit, even the movie’s own social media accounts and stars have gotten in on the fun of the title and premise. But would it at least be a movie that I could sit through and never regret paying a ticket to go and see?
Lets get some things out of the way. If you’re asking for an action movie that doesn’t play like a Gerard Butler starring action film would, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re hoping this is going to do for “rescue hostages movies” what EEAAO did for multiverse-jumping superhero films, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re looking for a sharp and witty script that has you repeating quotes from the film, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re expecting deep character studies with well executed arcs, you’re going to be disappointed. Plane inevitably isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think its unwatchable or that it didn’t do things I didn’t appreciate.
You’d think this is a movie where we learn Butler’s character is special forces or that Mike Colter’s character is actually not the criminal we’re introduced to him as, but to the film’s credit it doesn’t try to take these cheap outs. Butler is truly playing an airline Captain out of his depth and trying to save his crew and passengers; while Colter is playing a criminal that is the definition of an antihero sidekick to our protagonist.
The movie is also not afraid to be too safe with its script and allow everyone to get out unharmed; and the hand to hand fight scenes are actually pretty well executed, including a very well directed and shot scene in which Butler’s character is fighting for his life as he tries to reach out to the world with an S.O.S over the phone. Granted the character writing, especially among the supporting cast of passengers and flight attendants, is very surface level with nothing much to offer us from them; but I wouldn’t expect that from a movie like this.
The gun fights are a little choppy for me, but I thought the story beats to set up how the villains were dealt with was an attempt at something more grounded and realistic, granted that some silly stuff still gets through.
We’re not talking about a January action film that is going to pull a Top Gun: Maverick, but I didn’t think this was the prototypical bad January action film either. I still found myself engaged enough from start to finish and there were still moments that had me caught up in the action. I could see my dad being entertained by this if I took him to see it. Plane isn’t taking you to any new exotic locations, but if these kind of movies are your cup of tea you should enjoy the simplistic flight it takes you on.