Plane (2023) Review

A Solid Action Movie. Nothing More, Nothing Less

When selecting their next project, actors might go for a theme, genre, director, etc. they’re familiar with or if they want to try something new, they choose a totally unexpected movie. After all, there’s nothing wrong with broadening your horizon. However, sometimes actors choose the same kind of movie.

Think of Hugh Grant and rom-coms, Michael B. Jordan and intense sports movies, and Gerard Butler and action films. That latter is again being proven, this time in the latest movie by Jean-François Richet (“Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct”, “ Blood Father “). While his “Plane” is predictable and done multiple times, the film is still an excellent acting movie.

This time Butler is portraying Brodie Torrance, one hell of a pilot (not our words, though) working for Trailblazer. After being part of the RAF and flying hundreds of commercial flights, he’s ready for what should have been an easy flight on New Year’s Eve. However, even before take-off, it becomes clear that it will be everything but straightforward.

One of his passengers is the suspected murderer Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter). It becomes an even more difficult flight when Brodie and his co-pilot, Samuel Dele (Yoson An), take a look at the flight plan. The plan will take them through a rough storm, but because of the orders from above, the captain and his crew have no option but to take that route.

It doesn’t take long before the plane finds itself in the eye of the storm, one that even the most experienced pilot can’t handle. This results in ‘Flight 119’ landing on an island near the Philippines. As if crashing down wasn’t enough, it turns out that ruthless mercenaries with weapons and a thirst for killing and money are ruling the island. There are no official rules and laws, so Brodie, his crew and passengers won’t be able to count on the local authorities. They’re all on their own! Will Brodie be able to get the plane and passengers back up in the air?

Yes, you probably already noticed it. The storyline from Charles Cumming (“A Foreign Country”, “The Tracking of a Russian Spy”) and J.P. Davis (“The Contractor”, “The Neighbor”) is paper-thin and has been written already multiple times. If a plot like this is used in any other kind of film, it would be a huge red flag, but it’s not such a big problem in an action-packed movie like this.

Honestly, who watches an action film for the subplots anyway? What “Plane” needs to be relatively successful are stunning CGI, strong performances that hold up and a lot of fun, entertainment and explosions. That’s precisely what you get!

The greatest thing about “Plane” is the take-off. The CGI is top-notch, and it feels like you’re a passenger of ‘Flight 119’ yourself. Witnessing the power failures, the dread of the passengers, the struggling pilots and the rapid and uncontrollable descending from 40,000 feet feels extremely realistic.

Unfortunately, the real-life aspect disappears immediately after the crash as the rest of the film consists of explosions, brutal action scenes and problems that are solved too quickly. However, we recommend watching “Plane” on the biggest screen possible (don’t go for the 4DX version, though, if that even exists) cause then you will get the most out of the stunning special effects!

Butler (“ Den of Thieves”, “ Greenland “) has tons of experience in action movies, and so it’s no surprise he shines in “Plane” too. He is up to the challenge and delivers witty conversations and brutal action. Richet also allows Butler to stay true to his Scottish self, which we hope to see more of in the future.

Butler gets excellent support from Colter (“Black and Blue”, “Fatale”). He puts on a tremendous and ferocious performance and embodies his character as powerfully as possible. Their chemistry is what keeps this movie going. Don’t expect too many conversations between Butler and Colter. Just sit back, relax and let the action take over.

Ok, “Plane” won’t change the film industry, but Richet and his team certainly made a film that will draw a (big) audience to the screen. So if you’re up for popcorn entertainment, old-school action, stunning CGI and energetic performances, we suggest you buy a plane ticket for this film.

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