‘Plane’ movie review: Thriller that excitingly revels in its own absurdities


Film: Plane
Cast: Gerard Butler, Daniella Pineda, Tony Goldwyn, Mike Colter, Yoson An, Evan Dane Taylor,
Claro de los Reyes, Remi Adeleke
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Rating: 3/ 5
Runtime: 107 mins

Directed by Jean-François Richet and written by Charles Cumming and J.P. Davis, ‘Plane’ may not be an intelligent all-out action thriller but it’s an entertainer in an absurd, loud form with all the best elements of earlier action films cheering it on.

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Captain Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler), a pilot who just wants to get to Hawaii to spend with his daughter on New Year`s Eve, is compelled to save his 14 passengers with the help of copilot Samuel Dele (Yoson An) and attendant Bonnie (Daniella Pineda), from a lightning strike, by making a risky landing on a war-torn island. But the high-risk landing is not the only barrier to his New year`s eve plans.

Most of the passengers are taken hostage by separatists from the hostile region and Torrance finds that the only person he can count on for help is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murderer who was being transported by the FBI. So, in spite of the mistrust, they come together to find a safe passage for everyone to go home.

Gerard Butler and Mike Colter fulfill their action-oriented roles with great energy and panache by throwing their well-toned bodies into every endeavor – be it body blows, hand-to-hand combat, or gunfights. The action is continuous and steadily flowing, uninterrupted by jump-cuts and unfettered by shaky camerawork. There’s chaos in the build up but the actors are always in central focus and the fights get thrown up as a result of their contretemps.

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The action choreography is far more realistic – consisting of rough-tough, earthy skirmishes and is visibly energy-sapping (for the participants) – grittier than we’ve seen in recent blockbusters. When the action starts to go the firepower way, that too feels distinctive and unencumbered by unnecessary cuts. There’s brutality in the violence and severity in the hostage treatment and it all gives off a feel of the best hostage movies of earlier decades. You don’t expect great character definition from action movies so you are well satisfied by the cursory sketchy backstories of the principal characters here. Eventually, it’s the action and the technique with which it`s presented that shores this experience and makes it an exciting watch. Director Jean-François Richet keeps ‘Plane’ taut, tight, pacy, and propulsive. At a lean 107 minutes, its momentum never lets up. The finale is also bound to make you sit up and take notice for sure!




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