Gerard Butler just turns up once a year to release a generic action film, which always seems to get people excited. I’m not sure what it is about him, but people do have a love for him and seem to know when his films are coming out, and yet not other blockbusters. There’s a specific middle age market that loves him and will watch anything he does. Is it because they know exactly what they’re going to get and are content with that? Probably. They have a charm to them, I appreciate that his films aren’t award worthy but they are fun, and never take themselves too seriously, and I get that.
Plane follows pilot, Brodie Torrence, when his plane carrying 14 passengers, including a prisoner being extradited, is hit by lightning, the power fails and they are forced to land on a remote island in the Philippines, which is being run by a rebel group. The group takes the passengers hostage, so Torrence and the prisoner must rescue them and get off the island quickly.
For the first 20/30 minutes, I didn’t enjoy this film. It builds up to the plane taking off for a little bit too long for my liking. I’d have been happy for the passengers to be already on the plane or a quick montage of everyone getting on but it feels like we take a little bit too long for it to get going, I understand that it tries to give you moments with each passenger so we care about them when they get taken hostage, but we don’t spend any particular time with them so ultimately doesn’t feel worth it. The focus is on the pilot, and even puts it more on the passengers than the convict, who is the second lead of the film being on the poster.
We’ve had a couple of decent films about planes when I think of Flight and Sully, which both perfectly capture the size of the plane, making it feel epic in scale and giving the film more weight and impact when they have to control this giant vehicle. It feels like it gives the film its stakes. This one doesn’t feel like he’s really flying at all, just that they are in a small sound studio that has just the cockpit or just the seats, or that he’s just coming down the stairs which have been plonked in front of a green screen. I also felt the CGI for when the plane was in the storm, didn’t look good at all, with often far away shots looking like it was to cover for the fact that it was a rushed job, again adding to my problem about scale.
Perhaps the biggest strength of the film is the action. The first big action scene was when I sat up and started to have fun with the film. The action does have impact and feels like really people are actually fighting, rather than your typical Hollywood, over the top and overly choreographed fighting that we see a lot of. It does become a little bit more over the top towards the end, but it does it in a way where it feels fun.
Overall, Plane is exactly what I expected and exactly what you want if you’re someone who just looks out for Gerard Butler’s films. If you’re a typical dad who enjoys simple action films, this is perfect for you. A simple action film which does have problems, but if you’re the person who cares about those problems then this film is likely not for you anyway.
What did you think of Plane?
February has a few big films, I already have plans to watch a couple of new releases over the next couple of days so I’ll do my best to get a quick turnaround on those, including one of this years Oscar contenders. Be sure to follow via the buttons below to make sure that you don’t miss those reviews and film news.
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