On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the "Miracle on the Hudson" when Captain "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.
With the likes of legends Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks at the controls it’s first class all the way with plane drama Sully.
Clint might have hit a slump after the cracking Gran Turino, but after the Oscar-winning American Sniper he backs up again with another American hero, Captain “Sully” Sullenburger. Like Sniper this will go great guns in the USA, and should fly well abroad. Outside of the US most of us only know the bare details but there’s a lot more drama, and attention to plane procedural, behind the cockpit door.
Now Clint’s never been a flashy director, always crafting straightforward dramas with strong performances. And while the measured pace may feel like autopilot for some – the guy’s 86 so we should cut him some slack - the recreations of the actual crash are intense and give the movie much-needed thrust. It was shot almost entirely in IMAX and should be seen on the biggest screen available.
After his gung-ho USA rally cry that was American Sniper this actually pulls back on the Yankee yahoo. Sully himself didn’t want the focus to be on himself, but on the humanity shown by the people involved in this post-economic crash climate. And there’s a nice post-credits sequence with the actually survivors and the real Sully that’s worth sticking around for.
Just like Clint Hanks is backing up of sorts (let’s just forget A Hologram for the King) after the brilliant A Bridge of Spies. You can bank on Hanks when he pairs up with talent like Spielberg, Greengrass (for similar real-life hero in Captain Phillips) and now Clint. Hanks fits Sully like a glove and plays the humble hero perfectly. He’s definitely the star of the show, but Clint has stacked the playing field, with the likes of Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney and plenty of familiar character actors.
Amazingly this is the first collaboration of the class acts of Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks, and after such an enthralling and intense flight we hope they take-off together soon.
Releases: 8th September 2016
Rating: M – Contains offensive language
Duration: 96 minutes
Starring: Tom Hanks, Anna Gunn, Laura Linney
Director: Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Gran Torino)
The film is based on the autobiography, "Highest Duty" that was co-wrote by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, about the safe landing of US Airways Flight 1549 known as "Miracle on the Hudson", that occurred on Thursday, January 15th, 2009. The airplane lost engine power, after hitting a flock of Canada Geese during climb-out at approximately 2800ft AGL and 200 Nautical Miles Per Hour. Each of the two engines ingested at least two Canada Geese (avg weight between 7-10lbs.) and neither engine was able to produce sufficient thrust to sustain flight after ingesting these birds, Capt Sullenburg was able to ditch the aircraft in the Hudson River, resulting in the survival of all on board.