At the end of January, a new action movie starring Gerard Butler, “Crash,” opened in Ukrainian cinemas. Although a little late, we still watched this film and are ready to share our impressions. As usual, all the details are in the review.
Pros: good combination of two action-packed genres, decent action scenes, high level of tension, good dynamics, lack of a typical action hero defeating enemies alone Cons: the film fails to claim to be anything more than a throwaway action movie
“Crash” / Plane
Genre Action, Thriller
Directed by Jean-François Richet
Starring Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, Daniella Pineda, Tony Goldwyn, Paul Ben-Victor
Premiere cinemas, digital services
Year of release 2023
Experienced pilot Brodie Torrance plans to visit his daughter after a commercial flight from Singapore to Honolulu. He wishes a pleasant flight to the few passengers and takes off into the sky with such confidence as if he were behind the wheel of a bicycle, and not at the controls of an airplane. This was supposed to be another, unremarkable flight from point A to point B, the only difference being that a prisoner and an officer assigned to him had to be taken on board.
But somewhere over the South China Sea, the plane is caught in a severe thunderstorm, and when lightning knocks out power to its system, it becomes clear that an emergency landing is imminent. Thus, the crew and passengers find themselves on some Philippine island. To contact the airline, Torrance, as a captain, decides to go in search of help and takes a gloomy stranger in handcuffs with him, probably so as not to endanger people.
But then it becomes clear that the real danger will come from a local gang of thugs. Thanks to the local lawlessness, they are clearly accustomed to the fact that the first foreigner they come across can be taken hostage and demand a ransom for him. And here 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 off to free the suffering.
Gerard Butler is surprisingly confidently building a career for himself as a regular in category B films, which no one will remember in half an hour. But, obviously, the actor is not very worried about the prospect of getting mired in this “swamp” and becoming the second Liam Neeson. He stubbornly continues to actively act in modest and sometimes similar projects.
In “Crash,” 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 (“Angel Has Fallen”, “Lost”). It must be said that the 53-year-old Scot takes to such films like a duck to water.
So in the new film by French director Jean-François Richet, who once directed the remake of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, you can observe Butler’s trademark equanimity and brutality. Like the above-mentioned projects with Gerard, this one is also a painfully simple action film without encroaching on eternity, which, however, is executed in the best traditions of the genre. The crossover with the disaster film clearly benefited him, because the scenes with the plane crash give the action not only scale, but also appropriate tension.
At the same time, Butler’s character is quite far from the invincible machines of the Schwarzenegger type, and this makes us 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 save the hostages alone, as, say, John McClane once managed. Therefore, it is clearly impossible to do without outside help.
The hero of Mike Colter, known for his reincarnation as Luke Cage in the series based on Marvel comics, is responsible for it. His mostly silent character is given very little backstory, but is very skilled with a weapon, and that’s plenty. And later, a rescue squad of mercenaries will join the guys in order to take part in the final shootout, on which the fate of the hostages and crew will depend.
In general, “Crash” cannot boast of any technical bells and whistles or fight choreography of the “John Wick” level. This is a very simple, to some extent even primitive movie, from which the authors manage to get the most out of. Because the diligence of the latter is noticeable on the screen, a very decent staging of battle scenes and a successful intention to make an adrenaline-fueled and, as far as resources are available, realistic action movie. There is simply no time to be bored while watching.
In addition, the 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 clients or employees. For the sake of extra income, the local airline Trailblazer Airlines initially does not pay attention to the approaching storm, and when the situation gets out of control, it thinks more about its reputation than about saving people. At the same time, the main character, due to a small incident with an inadequate passenger, is forced to come to terms with a ruined career.
Overall, 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 film in six months. And yet, the creators’ sincere attempts to give the viewer a high-quality genre product deserve respect.
Recommended for fans of 80s action films