• Mon. May 27th, 2024

PLANE movie review

ByTaylor T Carlson

Feb 1, 2023

PLANE is directed by Jean-Francois Richet. The film stars Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, and Tony Goldwyn.

Brodie Torrance is an airline pilot looking forward to a reunion with his daughter. But his New Years plans take a turn for the worst when bad weather forces him to crash land on an island in the South Pacific, which also happens to be the home of many dangerous militias, kidnapping people and holding them for ransom. When the militia soldiers come after the passengers, Brodie must step into action, allying himself with a prisoner being extradited, coming up with a plan to escape from the deadly forces setting their sights on them.

I always stress in reviews that January tends to be a dumping ground for movies deemed to have been too inferior to release during the holiday blockbuster season. How does PLANE fare? Star Gerard Butler gives his usual reliable performance, as does co-star Mike Colter; both do the best they can with this material. While this PLANE flies high at times, it can’t quite rise above cliches of the genre like one-dimensional characters, plot points rehashed from better movies, and some questionable narrative decisions. That said, it’s paced well and delivers the R-rated violence. The formulaic end result delivers exactly what it promises. Nothing less, nothing more. And for some moviegoing audiences, that’ll be enough.

Where PLANE flies highest is its two leads. Gerard Butler has long been a reliable action star, and this PLANE feels like a vehicle that was made with him in mind. Stuck in mundane job due to his past actions and struggling to see his daughter, we can relate to his frustrations. He’s very much an everyman thrown into extraordinary circumstances, forced to use his wits and survival skills in dire times; the performance is convincing if nothing else. Mike Colter is the criminal on his flight who is being extradited, and of course, has his story arc come full circle amid these frustrating ordeals. Colter’s storyline is nothing original, but he plays it straight and does a fantastic job; I couldn’t have pictured any other actor playing the role better.

I’ll give PLANE credit for its efficient pacing. The movie only clocks in at around 100 minutes, and wastes no time arriving at its destination. We know what’s going to happen and it’s not an overly original cinematic experience, but it lets Butler cut loose and do his thing. R-rated violence is aplenty when the film calls for it. With Butler in the pilot’s seat and plenty of action and suspense alike, PLANE may be unoriginal, but it thankfully isn’t boring.

Other aspect of this PLANE stall and don’t quite get off the ground. The biggest issue is the one-dimensional supporting cast. They’re literally there to serve a minor narrative purpose and that’s all; it’s disappointing to see someone like Daniella Pineda relegated to wearing a flight attendant’s uniform and not getting to do much else. The terrorists are the stock villains we’ve seen in a million other movies. Likewise, the film makes the odd decision to focus on characters away from the crash site (Brodie’s daughter, airline officials, etc.) which takes away from the tension and grittiness of the storyline. Many moments late in the film sacrifice plausibility for audience pleasure. While this detracts from believability and realism, it did get plenty of applause from the crowd at my screening. Was it deserved? I guess that depends on what you look for in your movies.

PLANE isn’t original at all; it feels like an odd mash-up of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS and THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, and never quite rises to the heights of the film it borrows quite liberally from. That said, it’s got a decent amount of action and violence, surprisingly solid pacing, and good enough performances from Mike Colter and Gerard Butler, two of the most reliable stars out there today. I’d wait for the home video or streaming release, but there are certainly worse ways you could spend 100 minutes of your life.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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