Title: Sully (2016)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Todd Komarnicki
Based on: Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Valerie Mahaffey, Delphi Harrington, Mike O’Malley, Jamey Sheridan, Anna Gunn, Holt McCallany, Ahmed Lucan, and Laura Linney
Genres: Biography, Drama
Running Time: 96 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language
Production Companies: Village Roadshow Pictures, Flashlight Films, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Malpaso Productions
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) tries to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 strikes a flock of geese. Miraculously, all of the 155 passengers and crew survive the harrowing ordeal, and Sullenberger becomes a national hero in the eyes of the public and the media. Despite the accolades, the famed pilot now faces an investigation that threatens to destroy his career and reputation.
At first, I kind of reluctant to watch Sully. When I watched Flight (2012), played by Denzel Washington, I kind of slept nearly the entire film. But then, my friend told me that Sully is pretty good and that’s why I decided to watch it now. I must say, I am not disappointed at all. I am thrilled actually. This film is really good despite the back and forth plot. Sully is definitely different from Flight. First, Sully is based on true story and so it is more thrilling. Second, Sully has a better story. Well, since it is based on true story, of course, the story is better.
“Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.” – Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger
Honestly, I never heard of Captain Sully before. I was not aware of what happened on 15 January 2009 at Hudson River. Never heard anything about “The Miracle on the Hudson”. When I watched how he landed the plane on Hudson River, I literally got goosebumps. Just think about it already gives me goosebumps. To experience such thing, you won’t ever forget it for the rest of your life. I am super salute of how Captain Sully managed to land his plane safely and all 155 souls on board managed to escape alive. It’s bloody miracle and Captain Sully truly has shown an amazing skill. The way Captain Sully remained calm in a situation like that is definitely not easy. If you are not a professional, you will probably feel panic about the situation. Sully is indeed a hero. Well, at least until the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) looked into the case further and made Sully second-guessing his own choice. I guess the film basically proved us that computer is not the same as humans.
This is the second film of Tom Hanks that I’ve watched this year. The first one being Inferno (2016). It’s funny that I just said the same thing about Felicity Jones when I wrote the review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Anyway, let’s talk about Tom Hanks. Again, I also have to praise Tom Hanks here. I mean, as a two-times Oscars winner, you can’t doubt his acting skill. He is perfect in portraying Captain Sully. I can imagine the real Captain Sully behave the way Tom Hank’s Captain Sully behave. Tom Hanks really embodied the character really well. When Captain Sully began to doubt his choice and asking whether if he really has made the right choice or not, Tom Hanks played his expression really well. You can see the frustration and the confusion, even the trauma in his face, even without the flashback scenes or any words come out from his mouth.
I also think Aaron Eckhart has succeeded in portraying Jeff Skiles. The way he supported Captain Sully was clearly shown in the film. One-two jokes were said by Jeff Skiles to lighten the intense mood of the story. It is a smart choice to do.
Clint Eastwood has also done a great job as the director of this film. He delivered the film in an intense way that I have no time to feel bored. He managed to recreate a historic event with an amazing CGI effect. I personally think the landing of the plane on River Hudson looks pretty real. I guess that’s why I feel so intense when I watched it.
The way Clint Eastwood chose to make a back and forth plot is a brilliant choice. I mean, he only gave us bits and pieces at first so we, as audiences, will be very curious about what really happened next. At least to an audience like me, who never knew about this accident. I want to know more about the accident and that’s why I keep on watching without feeling bored. That kind of curiosity has made me feel really tense. Although I do get confused with one or two things, I still think this film is great.
“No one warned us. No one said “You’re going to lose both engines at a lower altitude than any jet in history. But, be cool, just make a left turn for LaGuardia like you are going back to pick up the milk”. This was duel engine loss at 2800 feet followed by immediate water landing with 155 souls on board. No one has ever trained for an incident like that. No one.” – Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger
Even though people already know how Sully became a hero, the event after the accidents must not be known by a lot of people. That is why it’s amazing to see this film because we were being let know of what happened. It’s the after-event that is always not easy. This film has indeed delivered the real story really well. Even a small amount of the passengers’ stories have added some life to the film.
Sully is truly a remarkable film inspired by a remarkable true story. It gives goosebumps just the thought of what happened back then. I think Sully is a great film and worth to watch. It is intense and thrilling. The way this film delivered the true story of Captain Sully is brilliant, even the choice of the back and forth plot.
I give Sully 8 out of 10 stars.