Short and Semi-Sweet
Ahhhhh another classic definition of "it's fine." I still haven't really mastered how to get past the classic "it's fine" trope, but ultimately at the end of the day that's what Sully is: fine. While the event itself is dramatic, and it's shot well, there's still a lot of movie outside of it, and I wasn't particularly engrossed by it. I don't know. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood when I watched this, but I really felt like there was a lot of.....embelishing to attempt to make this story more dramatic than it actually was. That said, it's still an average film, and there's noithing to be disappointed in that.
On one side, you have the main event: the plain crash. The sequence is well shot by director Clint Eastwood, and he does a great job giving us a few passanger backstories to care about as it takes place. But even beyond those few, nearly every passanger on the plane is given a moment to convey their emotions at one point or another, and that really added to the scene. Additionally, all throughout the sequence Eastwood did a GREAT job highlighting the people of New York City: from an air traffic controller who pretty much stole the entire sequence, (played by Patch Darragh-and I'm not kidding....this was probably the best performance of anyone in the film and it came from a guy who's struggling to find work) to helicopter pilots, boat operators, and first responders. Eastwood excelled at highlighting their contributions to "The Miracle on the Hudson."
While Eastwood does revisit this crash sequence several times, the rest of this movie really failed to draw me in, and I think it starts with Tom Hanks. He really didn't seem to give this performance his all, which is very unusual. However when I think about this movie, the first performance that jumps out is Patch Darragh's performance, and that should not be the case. Eckhart easily outperformaed Hanks, and that's certainly not something I ever expected to say. Additionally, the rest of this film is very simple. Eastwood has always been a minimalist in his filmmaking style, but he's always had strong performances from his leads. He simply doesn't get that here, and it brings down the rest of the movie with it. I also have to pick on the length. It comes in at a short 96 minutes, and it definitely could've benefited from another 20 minutes or so. I say that not because I necessarily cared about the film, but rather because there's no epilogue. The movie is at it's climax at minute 93, and it doesn't give you any time for closure. I found myself saying, "that's it?" When the film abruptly ended, and that definitely brought down the overall experience. I'm used to saying that as I play video games, not watch film!
Finally, I have to (again) talk about the women in this film. I know, I'm a broken record, but there are basically two women in this film and they are both pretty much wasted. Laura Linney is given at least a few things to do, but her character can still just be summed up as "the wife." The one that really got me, though, was Anna Gunn. It was heartbreaking to see such a successful actress, who tore the house down in Breaking Bad, delegated to a role with just a few throwaway speaking lines. Her involvement in this film was nothing more than for recognizability, and it really showcases the sexism of Hollywood. Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn were two of the three most important characters in Breaking Bad, yet while one has gone on to have a hugely successful post-BB career, the other has been delegated to 3 speaking-role positions. And a glance at her IMDB page tells you that she's not got a whole lot going on on the horizon either. Hell, even Aaron Paul, who, as much as I love him, is NOWHERE near as good an actor as Anna Gunn, is getting more work than her. Maybe Gunn should've taken Paul's role in Need for Speed. Probably would've been a better movie with her at the helm. But I digress.
Go see it if you like Clint Eastwood, but otherwise there are definitely better things out there right now to check out.
The Critique: Despite a thrilling and dramatic event it's centered around, Sully fails to impress thanks to a lackluster performance from Tom Hanks and a criminally short run time.
The Recommendation: There are better things to see out there right now.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 5/10 Average
Can we get an Oscar nomination for Patch Darragh's role? Please?