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Plane (15)

Cast: Gerard Butler, Yoson An, Mike Colter
Genre: Action
Author(s): Charles Cumming, JP Davis
Director: Jean-Francois Richet
Release Date: 27/01/2023
Running Time: 107mins
Country: US
Year: 2023

On New Year's Eve, Trailblazer Air pilot Captain Brodie Torrance prepares for a routine flight that will allow him to usher in the new year in Hawaii with his daughter Daniela. Those plans are derailed when FBI agent Knight escorts handcuffed prisoner Louis Gaspare on to the flight to face murder charges. A severe weather front including a direct lightning strike forces Torrance and co-pilot Dele to take evasive action. They emergency land on a remote island under the control of militia leader Junmar.


LondonNet Film Review

Plane (15) Film Review from LondonNet

You won’t need to fasten seatbelts during director Jean-Francois Richet’s lacklustre action thriller, which pits the crew and passengers of a downed commercial flight against a sadistic militia leader on an island in the Sulu Sea. Dramatic turbulence fails to materialise when Gerard Butler proudly retains his Scottish burr as the grizzled pilot, who risks life and limb to protect his passenger manifest of two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs including an obnoxious businessman and giggling gal pals. The in-flight entertainment of a mid-air lightning strike quickens the pulse more than myriad gun fights or hand-to-hand fisticuffs in the jungle including a slickly choreographed one-on-one brawl between Butler and a nameless thug shot in sweat-drenched close-up…

Spurts of graphic violence (predominantly gunshot wounds to heads) guarantee a steadily increasing body count without any emotional investment in the stricken characters apart from Butler’s RAF veteran, who lost his wife three years ago and is still navigating the grieving process. Director Richet previously helmed a tepid 2005 remake of John Carpenter’s Assault On Precinct 13 and his comfort zone is evidently bullet-riddled stand-offs. A climactic shootout leaks suspense and screenwriters Charles Cumming and JP Davis neglect to give one key protagonist a fitting send-off.

On New Year’s Eve, Trailblazer Air pilot Brodie Torrance (Butler) arrives in the nick of time to captain a routine flight from Singapore to Tokyo that should allow him to hop time zones and usher in the new year in Hawaii with his daughter Daniela (Haleigh Hekking). Those plans are derailed when stern-faced FBI agent Knight (Otis Winston) escorts Louis Gaspare (Colter) onto the flight. The handcuffed prisoner is being extradited to face murder charges from 15 years ago.

A severe weather front unnerves boarding passengers – “These planes are pretty much indestructible,” quips the captain – and a direct lightning strike to Flight 199 forces Torrance and co-pilot Dele (Yoson An) to improvise an emergency landing on a remote island close to the Philippines under the control of sadistic Junmar (Evan Dane Taylor). His gun-toting disciples take the crew and passengers hostage except for Torrance and Gaspare, who reluctantly join forces to stage a daring rescue. Meanwhile at Trailblazer Air HQ in New York, crisis management expert Scarsdale (Tony Goldwyn) activates mercenary for hire Shellback (Remi Adeleke) to parachute onto the island and neutralise Junmar’s army.

Plane adopts the brace position then neglects to make any impact with routine action sequences and perfunctory scenes of self-sacrifice. Butler is on autopilot as a reluctant saviour while Colter plays hide and seek with his enigmatic character’s back story. Please turn off all personal electronic devices, including mobile phones, and switch your brain to flight mode.

– Sarah Lee


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