Sully is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, and Anna Gunn.
Tom Hanks play airline captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger who on January 15, 2009, was forced to conduct an emergency water landing on the Hudson River with his plane, US Airways Flight 1549. The plane was barely three minutes into its flight until a flock of geese struck the plane and crippled both engines. All 155 passengers and crew survived, and Sully is deemed a hero. However, further investigation into "The Miracle on the Hudson", as well as increased media coverage, put Sully, his family, and his career under intense pressure.
The 2016 fall movie season looks promising, and Sully helps get the train on the right tracks after a rocky movie summer. Taking a team of legends like Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks is almost guaranteed to deliver, and indeed they deliver in this biographical tale that could be up for Oscar contention next year. It's tough to say there is anything to spoil because any and all significant details are presented in the trailer(s), and anyone can Google the event online and get all the necessary facts in a matter of minutes.
What Sully attempts to do is convey to us the post-incident struggles that the captain goes through, as well as the emotional strain that is put on him by the media and skeptical investigators. In a way, the movie is also trying to show us how the media can distort the way we view a particular person, since a lot of what they tell sounds like petty gossip. The character of Sully is not presented to us by the media the way someone like Kim Kardashian or a corrupt politician is, but we see the excessive attention he receives does get under his skin a little bit.
- Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart. I won't comment on each's individual performance, because both are highly successful actors, and lauding them is nothing that hasn't been done enough already. What the high point to me is how the two work together pretty much flawlessly, being able to bounce off one another's dialogue efficiently, as well as giving a convincing retelling of the water landing from their perspectives. One of the best scenes involving the two is when they try to discredit the computer simulations that the investigators present. Hanks gives a tiny monologue on how the computers failed to include a human component, and Eckhart backs him up by claiming no simulation could completely recreate what they saw during the incident.
- The sequence of events in the plot feel slightly out of place. The main source of this low point is when the movie becomes dominated by its flashbacks that usually take place while Sully is in the middle of a conversation with someone. The first flashback of the water landing shows passengers getting on the plane, and then we watch it take off into the air. This flashback occurs when Sully is talking on the phone with his wife, and once the flashback is over (and I would have to guess it lasts almost 10 minutes), we cut right back to the phone conversation. I went into this movie thinking the retelling of the incident was going to compose the first 10-15 minutes of the film, but it is lengthened out in a series of flashbacks throughout, weaving in and out with what is happening post-landing. After a while, the plot becomes sort of discombobulated, even though you have no confusion on what is going on.
Bolstered by strong performances by Hanks and Eckhart, Sully delivers as a satisfying biopic that provides a deeper examination into the captain's internal struggles, as well as hinting at the difficult and sometimes overwhelming nature of the media.
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