Sully

By Angie Raphael

Most people will remember the day in 2009 when a bird strike forced a plane to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River in New York. It was amazing none of the 155 people onboard died, and the captain was hailed a hero by the passengers and media. But he still had to face a gruelling investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board amid claims he should have returned the plane safely to LaGuardia Airport. It is that issue, which Sully explores in an adaptation of the captain's autobiography. Tom Hanks plays Chesley Sullenberger convincingly and Aaron Eckhart is also very good as his co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles. However, writer Todd Komarnicki produced a messy narrative structure and it affected the momentum. Just when the action picks up, the film suddenly goes to a flashback. An experienced director like Clint Eastwood should know better about keeping the flow going. There are also a couple of insensitive moments when Sully has nightmares and visions of a plane crashing into buildings. The September 11 terrorist attacks may have been 15 years ago, but it hardly seems necessary to include scenes like this just to make the point that Sully is haunted by what happened on the Hudson River. Nonetheless, it is great to see a film depict a victorious story about a plane's emergency landing and the power of community spirit.


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