A Plain Title for an Otherwise Lackluster Action Flick in the dull Plane! – Movie Review – mxdwn.com

January 22nd, 2023 – 1:58 AM
Gerard Butler has been featured in plenty of action movies. Some have proved to be effective with such examples including Greenland, Den of Thieves, and everyone’s favorite, 300. With a film titled Plane, one could expect not much to hope for, considering that the title alone is lackluster and rather plain. With some exceptions for a thrilling disaster sequence, Plane is your standard action movie but lacks the excitement, wit, and charm of many beloved movies in this genre.  

The movie starts out in Singapore, where Captain Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) is running late to board his plane. It’ll be a quick trip heading toward Hawaii and with only fourteen passengers on the manifest, everything should be running smoothly. That is correct until a last-minute passenger is boarded onto the plane. Federal Authorities have captured a convicted murderer who escaped custody and is eager to transport him back to the States. The murderer is named Louis Gasper (Mike Colter), and while he appears not to be a threat, Captain Torrance doesn’t want to take any chances concerning the safety of his passengers and crew.  
Sitting in the First Officer’s Chair is Samuel (Yoson An), an eager co-pilot ready to prove himself. I could mention some of the passengers, but most are poorly developed and aren’t worth mentioning. Shortly after taking off, the plane enters a storm system that they could’ve avoided but was denied by a Trailblazer associate. Trailblazer is the name of the airline in this movie. Yep, you might’ve guessed by now that the plane enters the storm and experiences a truly catastrophic situation. Lightning strikes the aircraft disabling all electronic equipment rendering the plane immobile and running on the APU. Desperate for help, Captain Torrance and First Officer Samuel quickly react to save the aircraft and passengers.  
While completely unrealistic, this sequence offers some real tension that engaged me. Afterward, the plane runs out of battery and is left gliding in the air allowing only manual use to lower the landing gear and hopefully land the aircraft before it crashes. The plane ends up landing on a large stretch of road on a tiny island off the coast of the Philippines. With all communications lost, Torrance and everyone else on the plane is left stranded with no idea of their precise location and no way to signal for help. 
While all this is happening, a lone boardroom containing members of Trailblazers learn of the plane’s disappearance after radio contact was lost and the aircraft was lost on radar. This is where we bring in Scarsdale (Tony Goldwyn), a former Special Ops Officer who can contact a team to provide a search and rescue for the plane and its passengers. I like his characters, but mostly everyone we see in the boardroom is there to provide more bodies to the room. Less than a handful of people ever talk. I’m not kidding.  
While the stuff on the plane was fun to watch, the second half was not as fun. This involves the captain attempting to salvage his plane and seeking help from Louis to assist him to find help or a radio to make contact. We discover that a local militia group has overtaken the island and that the Philippine Government is either afraid or unable to render a search and rescue for at least twenty-four hours. Scarsdale contacts his team to find the plane and get the passengers out while the local militia group locates the plane and takes the passengers hostage.  
If you thought the passengers had little to no development, then the same can be said for the militia. They are written so paper thin that the actors are placed in situations to act cruel, look mean, and eventually die in an ending shootout that isn’t thrilling nor had me rooting for the passengers to escape.  
The problem with Plane is not just the title but the script. The character motivations are cliched and weak. The villains aren’t developed to a point at which they would be memorable and as an action movie, there isn’t just that much fun going on. We don’t mind if the villains are slimy or many people are killed, but we want to be engaged by what’s happening, and Plane fails to deliver. I was reminded of all the fun I had when watching movies that took place on an airplane, and Plane lacked the energy and passion for delivering an entertaining experience. It’s all rudimentary to the action genre without the bite to excite anyone.  
I will credit Gerard Butler, Tony Goldwyn, and Mike Colter. Gerard Butler can be a fine actor, but over the years, his action movies are either lazily made or try to achieve the bare basics of trying to be entertaining. It’s almost a chore to watch his film,s and we miss him in his glory days. Aside from the plane sequence, this is barely worthy of a theatrical release and more for the direct-to-video market, and even then, it still wouldn’t be worth watching.  
Plane' Review: Gerard Butler Pilots This Fun, If Familiar, Flick – Deadline
Score 2 out of 5  
Plane is just plain dull. A movie that sits on autopilot and features boring action, poorly drawn characters, and a weak execution from French director Jean-Francois Richet (who made the impressively worthy remake of Assault on Precinct 13). Notable Spy novelist Charles Cumming and screenwriter J.P. Davis have written a movie that lacks thrills, exciting action, or compelling characters.  
Plane feels like one of those 80s or 90s action flicks but can’t measure up to those glory days of action glory. Plane is a tedious exercise of poorly realized action flair that amounts to another disappointing project from the once reliable Gerard Butler. There were many missed opportunities here and Plane manages to miss the basic one and that is to deliver an exciting action movie that may not feature the brains but certainly packs the thrills.   


Rick Rice


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