Sully (2016) Review: Soft Landing
As a fairly young, but avid viewer of motion pictures, many of the movies that are based on true stories, are stories I either don’t remember or wasn’t alive to see. However in the ever flowing stream of time, events continue to occur, and then are recreated to be enjoyed from the comfort of the cinema. Recently, there was ‘Captain Phillips’ and now ‘Sully’. Both films about Captains surviving a 2009 tragedy, and both starring Tom Hanks. Go figure.
‘Sully’ of course is the story of the 2009 forced water landing in which Captain Chesley Sullenberger (It’s a wonder he chooses to be called Sully) landed a commercial airplane with 155 people on board, after both engines failed, on the Hudson River. A story like that is amazing on its own, but is the movie any good? Well yes, but I’m not certain I needed to see it.
‘Sully’ is a movie that suffers from its publicity. The sequence of the landing itself is thrilling, and it makes for an incredibly immersive portion of the film, but it’s only a fraction of the runtime. The rest of the movie looks at Sully himself. Tom Hanks gives a, well, sullen performance, as a man who’s suddenly thrust into fame, while dealing with an investigation of the incident. The film attempts to create tension in that investigation of the landing, but it comes across as artificial. The type of dramatic re-imagining you expect from a Hollywood movie, that pushes it into a sort of real life fantasy.
Hanks’ performance is layered, and gives Sully a humanity that helps reconcile his seemingly superhuman feat. There’s a clear attempt to make Sully as ordinary as possible, complete with incomplete house payments and other financial struggles. It’s a little undercut though at the end of the film when you get a clip of the actual Captain, who is so gentle and kind he makes Tom Hanks look like Clint Eastwood.
The film is well cast and well acted all around. but it’s naturally more interesting if you weren’t at least somewhat familiar with what took place 7 years ago. For those that were, it’s a decent character study of the humanity behind the people we so quickly turn into celebrities in this internet age, where every action is analysed and under scrutiny.
P.S Major props need to go to Aaron Eckhart for his superb moustache, whose face fuzz eclipses the main man himself. Make no mistake, Hanks’ moustache game is on point, but it’s nowhere near the beast that occupies the space directly below Eckhart’s nasal cavity. His thick, musky, forest of lip hair is a feat, and easily takes the cake for best moustache of 2016. If you only see one moustache at the movies this year, make it Eckhart.
Movie Rating: Half Price
Moustache Rating: G.O.A.T