Director: Clint Eastwood.
Clint Eastwood gives us the untold story of Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully crash landed an Airbus A320 onto the Hudson River when it suffered dual engine failure from being hit by a gaggle of geese.
Now some of us might expect a long, drawn out picture of what happened on that day, especially with it being from Eastwood who's known for doing films that would last much longer than the flight itself. But no, it's Eastwood's shortest film to date with a flight time of only 96mins.
It's not about the passengers or the families relating to, nor is it about the flight crew or the other people involved in the rescue, however all these people are played out in the film; it's just very focused on Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and details the events after the incident. Rightly so.
We know, or should know the details of the incredible emergency water landing that happened back in January 2009. Sully flying a routine US Airways flight 1549 from New York to Charlotte but lost power to both engines shortly after taking off and being at a considered low altitude. What does one do in that situation?
What makes up the bulk of the story is how Sully is treated in the wake of the event by the press, the general public and most importantly coming under scrutiny from the National Transport Safety Board who, I suppose are just doing their job, but to question a seasoned pilot with 20,000hrs over a 40yr flying career who saved the lives of everyone on board hardly makes sense.
There's quite a bit of turbulence in the structure of the film, jumping about with flashbacks and interviews, though this doesn't make it hard to follow, not at all. It's actually better that it's a not direct, linear film working towards the conclusion.
I couldn't decide if this wanted to be a courtroom drama, because I don't think it's intended to be one. It's interesting to see the questions and emotional impact of those questions on Sully, was he a hero or did he actually endanger the lives of everyone on board.
it's just a film about how ordinary people who do extraordinary things to then get questioned. He's a real life avenger made to question and doubt his actions.
As expected, strong performance from Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart is good as co-pilot Skiles, but everything else is a little disjointed. The re-enactment of the crash landing is impressive and is probably the stand out image piece of the film, the rest made up of script.
A different and interesting score/soundtrack provided by Christian Jacob and The Tierney Sutton Band in collaboration with Eastwood, as he tends to do his own scores as well. (Mystic River being a personal fave.) It's soft, easy-listening and embellished by spiritual jazz songs. On a side note, not that it appears on the soundtrack, not suiting the film, but the song "A Real Hero" by College and Electric Youth was actually inspired by this event, well know for featuring on the Drive soundtrack.
It's a good story and tribute to Sully, otherwise known as the miracle on the Hudson but it's missing something, maybe not aiming to be such a spectacle, but it's feels rushed, almost like a part-time film, complete but if not for flying scenes, it could be mistaken as a TV movie, certainly not either Eastwood's or Hank's best work.
Running Time: 7
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 4
The Extra Bonus Point: 0
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Possibly, not a priority buy.