Film Review – Sully: Miracle On Hudson (2016)


It is admirable that an eighty six year old man can still direct movies at such a high calibre. He chooses his projects, carefully, ambitiously and never wants to cop out of easy straightforward filmmaking. Clint Eastwood directs Hollywood mainstream naturalism perfectly, just as if you were there with the protagonists. The man never stops even if he has two best director Oscars. Maybe asking him to step in front of the camera once again is too much to ask for considering 2008’s ‘Gran Torino’ was the last time he did this. However if the man uses his directing talent to convey a true story about Captain Chesley Sullenberger’s remarkable anecdote, the audience will be engrossed and keep their eyes, their ears and mouth wide open as the facts are presented of how Captain ‘Sully’ landed that plane of 155 souls on board across New York’s Hudson River.

Eastwood directs Tom Hanks in the starring role as Captain Chelsey ‘Sully’ Sullenberger. Hanks is back with a reprisal and can now be forgiven for this year’s disappointing ‘Inferno.’ His talent at portraying real life people is always a good ace card to play. From playing Captain Jim Lovell in ‘Apollo 13,’ to Captain Richard Phillips in ‘Captain Phillips’ and now Captain ‘Sully,’ yes there is a pattern! But as long as we embrace our stereotypes and use it to our advantage, Hanks has nothing to lose. It’s better than playing the fictional Robert Langdon, that’s for sure.

The story is of Chesley Sullenberger, an American pilot who became a hero after landing his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew. He becomes a media phenomenon, considering good news actually arose from aviation tragedy. However the story unravels and the audience begin to ponder, was Sully’s decision a dim-witted one or were there other alternatives?

From the moment the film opens, the audience becomes apprehensive as we see the plane crash immediately. Nonetheless, not to worry! Eastwood has structured the plot carefully that the story builds and scatters the narrative in several places, but the audience enjoy the ride as they will be told the full story and questions will be answered. We will see flashbacks, we will see snippets and teases of the plane crash and then we are given the whole shebang of what really occurred from all points of views. Who knew that if a flock of birds strikes both planes’ engines, the shit would really hit the fan, literally! From here on the audience feel the tension and become engrossed as we watch Sully being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation begins unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. The audience are on his side all the way as he embarks on a journey of malpractice.

One cannot help after viewing to see the real Sully on YouTube clips and feast their eyes on the real documentary. Sully is a story of heroism and Eastwood has yet again impressed us with impressive filmmaking that will hopefully qualify for some Oscar nominations. A must see Eastwood/Hanks collaboration.

[rating=4] | Aly Lalji

Drama, Biography | USA, 2016 | 12A | Warner Bros Pictures | 2nd December 2016 (UK) | Dir. Clint Eastwood | Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Mike O’Malley

%d bloggers like this: