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Review: Sully

Tom Hanks stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' SULLY

The “Miracle on the Hudson” came to be the defining moment in Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s career as a pilot. It’s also the moment that turned him into what many would consider a hero and a recognizable name in the eyes of many. Saving lives like he did will do that, but it can also get you a movie about that period of your life.

Inspired by true events, Sully is offering audiences a glimpse into the hectic time that surrounded the heroic actions of Chesley Sullenberger (Tom Hanks). His actions that prevented a disabled plane from crashing while saving the lives of the 155 people who were aboard are well documented, but the issues dealt with during the aftermath have not been focused on as much. With Hollywood heavyweights such as Clint Eastwood and Hanks shining a bright spotlight on them, those events are now being showcased as well..

As a film, Sully is a respectable portrait of a man that’s good enough to be seen as pleasant while not being able to offer enough to be considered fantastic or highly memorable. In a way, it kind of reminds me of Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs from 2015. While it isn’t as good as that Aaron Sorkin written feature, Sully works with what it has in order to deliver a serviceable feature that can be described as professional, mature and well made.

While I didn’t have much of an issue with it, the style in which it’s all delivered could bother some viewers. It’s presented in a way that has the story constantly going back and forth from the past and present. Understandably, some will see this as being a bit unbalanced and distracting, but some will find it has the opposite effect on their viewing experience.

I found this aspect to be a positive addition to Sully due to it potentially creating some semblance of suspense to a story that has an outcome that’s already known. Being able to do such a thing is next to impossible, so handling it like this was necessary since you’re not really going to be learning anything new. Proceeding this way at least attempts to keep you on edge to some small degree. While it doesn’t work incredibly well, it makes the picture more engaging than it would be if a straightforward approach was attempted.

One thing that I did have an issue with in Sully came in the form of the dream sequences that are included. In just about every way, these scenes are an unnecessary addition to the entire affair. Even if Sullenberger himself did actually have those dreams (or nightmares), it doesn’t help further the film in any way. Ridding the movie of these scenes would have been the way to go, but it would have also made it a good bit shorter. Reducing the length in a film is almost never a bad thing in my mind, but Sully is only a little over 90 minutes to begin with, so it’s not too problematic.

I don’t know how much credit I can actually give the people behind Sully. I say that because it’s kind of simple and pieced together in that way. That’s one of the things that does separate it from Steve Jobs. There’s nothing here that grabs your attention and holds it long enough to take you on a captivating ride. While this prevents me from heaping more praise on Sully, it doesn’t stop me from appreciating this solid film for what it is.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Clint Eastwood

Tom Hanks
Aaron Eckhart
Laura Linney

Film Length: 91 minutes

Release Date: September 9, 2016

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Score - 7/10
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