Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Both Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are masters of their crafts, but there is something about new Feature Sully that just felt like it didn’t need to be told or perhaps not so soon. Seven years ago United Airlines Flight 1549 had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River and miraculously all 155 souls survived. That makes for a pretty riveting story, but when that is the entire story, a full-length Feature almost seems redundant. The Film exerts effort examining the issues raised when this was brought to trial and whether the captain was in the right, but considering how quick those actions were executed, there wasn’t much else to tell.
The Movie starts-off with Sully (Tom Hanks) having a bad dream about what if he did truly in fact try to take the plane back and ends with some very poorly-timed 9/11 imagery. The Movie then continues to travel back and forth over a two-week period during the trial questioning whether Sully’s motives where he is accused of doing it purposely to be a hero while his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) stands by his captain’s side that he made the right decision. The proceedings are humorous frankly and consequently unbelievable. Captain Sully did what he needed to do to save everyone’s life, and despite it never happening successfully before, the expertise of being 42 years a pilot helped save 155 lives.
What makes Sully work is a very strong performance from Tom Hanks, but on that token, a strong performance cannot carry a weaker Movie. For the five minutes of the Movie where the plane is going to land in the Hudson, the adrenaline and the stakes are high despite already knowing the outcome, but after that, everything simmers down and is presented quietly by-the-book. Tonally, particularly in the proceedings, there are moments of laughter that feel out of place throughout the Film that take us out of the moment.
Although a heroic deed, we just are unsure there is enough substance in Sully to fill an entire Feature.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release SULLY in theatres on Friday, September 9, 2016.