At the end of January, a new action movie with Gerard Butler “Flight” started in Ukrainian cinemas. Although a little late, we still watched this movie and are ready to share our impressions. As always, all the details are in the review.
“Flight” / Plane
Action genre, thriller
Directed by Jean-Francois Richet
Starring Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson Ahn, Daniella Pineda, Tony Goldwyn, Paul Ben-Victor
Premiere cinemas, digital services
Release year 2023
Experienced pilot Brody Torrance plans to visit his daughter after a commercial flight from Singapore to Honolulu. He wishes the few passengers a pleasant flight and soars into the sky with such confidence as if he were at the wheel of a bicycle rather than an airplane. It was supposed to be another, unremarkable flight from point A to point B, except with the difference that the imprisoned criminal and the officer attached to him had to be taken on board.
But somewhere over the South China Sea, the plane runs into severe weather, and when lightning knocks out its system, it becomes clear that an emergency landing is inevitable. Thus, the crew and passengers end up on some Philippine island. In order to contact the airline, Torrance, as the captain, decides to go in search of help and takes with him a gloomy stranger in shackles, probably so as not to endanger people.
Over time, it becomes clear that the real danger will come from a local gang of thugs. Thanks to the local lawlessness, they are clearly used to the fact that the first foreigner can be taken hostage and demanded a ransom for him. And then such a luxurious gift fell straight from the sky. Having learned about this, the main character enlists the support of his new partner and sets out to free the suffering.
Gerard Butler is surprisingly confidently building a career as a regular in category B tapes, which no one will remember after half an hour. But, apparently, the actor is not too worried about the prospect of getting bogged down in this “swamp” and becoming the second Liam Neeson. He persistently continues to act actively in modest and sometimes monotonous projects.
In “Flight” the creators combine two genres in which Butler has appeared on a regular basis in recent years. These are to a lesser extent disaster films, which, by the way, we recently wrote about (“Geostorm”, “Greenland”), and, of course, to a greater extent – unpretentious old-school action films (“Fall of an Angel”, “Gone”). It must be said that the 53-year-old Scot feels like a fish in water in such films.
And in the new film of the French director Jean-Francois Richet, who once directed the remake of “Attack on the 13th Precinct” by John Carpenter, you can observe the signature butler’s calmness and brutality. Like the aforementioned projects with Gerard, this is also a painfully simple action film without encroachments on eternity, which, however, is made in the best traditions of the genre. Crossing over with a disaster film clearly benefited him, because the scenes with the plane crash add not only scale to the action, but also appropriate tension.
At the same time, Butler’s character is quite far from the invincible machines of the Schwarzenegger model, and this makes you root for him. Yes, his Brody Torrance is still a rough and strong man who even has some military experience behind him. However, he is not able to single-handedly save the hostages, as, say, John McClane once did. Therefore, it is clearly impossible to do without outside help.
The character of Mike Colter, known for his incarnation as Luke Cage in the Marvel comics series, is responsible for it. His mostly silent character gets very little backstory, but is great with weapons, and that’s more than enough. And later, the boys will be joined by a rescue squad of mercenaries to participate in the decisive shootout in the final act, on which the fate of the hostages and the crew will depend.
In general, “Flight” cannot show off any technical bells and whistles or combat choreography at the level of “John Wick”. This is an extremely simple, to some extent even primitive movie, from which the authors manage to squeeze the maximum. Because the diligence of the latter is visible on the screen, as well as a very decent production of battle scenes and a successful intention to make an adrenaline-filled and, as far as resources are available, realistic action movie. So just never get bored while watching.
In addition, creators even in passing manage to criticize the policies of companies that are primarily guided by capitalist principles, and not by the comfort of their own customers or employees. For the sake of extra money, the local airline company Trailblazer Airlines initially ignores the approaching storm, and when the situation gets out of control, thinks more about reputation than saving people. At the same time, the protagonist is forced to come to terms with a ruined career due to a small incident with an inadequate passenger.
In general, it turned out to be a decent one-time entertainment, a kind of good warm-up before the release of the fourth part of “John Wick”. It is unlikely that Gerard Butler himself will remember this tape in half a year. Nevertheless, the sincere efforts of the creators to give the viewer a high-quality genre product deserve respect.
Pros: a successful combination of two thriller genres, decent action scenes, a high level of tension, good dynamics, the absence of a typical action hero who single-handedly defeats everyone Cons: the film cannot claim to be anything more than a one-off action movie Conclusion:
Recommended for fans of 80s action movies