Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks collaborate to turn a 208 second event into an exceptionally detailed, almost two hour movie. Sully takes outstanding piece of history and revives it into a riveting, exciting, and emotional experience. One of the best movies so far this year Sully expertly narrates the true and heroic tale of a pilot's narrow escape from a tragedy of epic proportions.
The film opens on the day January 15, 2009 while flight 1549 takes off from New York with its end desination being North Carolina. Shortly after leaving LaGuardia, the plane was fatally damaged by a flock of geese, immobilizing both engines. Not having enough time to return to LaGuardia, the pilot in charge, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump), was left with seconds to make a decision that would forever change his life and the lives of many others. Hurriedly weighing his chances, he chose to land the plane in the Hudson River to decrease the risk of a severe crash. The plane managed to stay afloat just long enough to escort all 155 passengers safely back on land, but such an episode has major ramifications on Sully’s future. Courtesy of many flashbacks, this miraculous event is recounted to help explain the legal consequences Sully now faces in the aftermath as the result of an investigation done by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). His heroic actions could have possibly cost him his job. The recurring recollections help develop the emotional layers of the film, making Sully an intriguing psychological drama.
Sully’s emotional conflict is perfectly portrayed by Tom Hanks, through his nightmares and PTSD triggered tics, making Sully another example of Hanks’ expert ability to tell a dramatic, heartfelt story. Adding to his list of box office hits, Hanks once again proves his versitility as an actor as he flawlessly brings his character to life with dignity and respect.
Jeff Skiles, played by Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) is Captain Sully’s copilot on the flight. Eckhart brilliantly works alongside Hanks as both the crisis and its backlash play out. Skiles’ loyalty and devotion to his coworker legitimized their sentimental onscreen friendship.
The man behind the astounding visuals, Clint Eastwood, sets the perfect atmosphere for Hanks to shine. The plot is laid out in such a way that presents the film in a smooth and easy to follow format, without being dull or uneventful. While it remains debatable as to whether or not this is Eastwood’s best work, it certainly comes close thanks to it’s layout, simplicity, and attention to detail. Eastwood succeeds in narrating the historic event in a way which neither exaggerates nor minimizes the endeavors of Captain Sully on the fateful day. Overall, Eastwood helps bring to life a very realistic and compelling story about Sullenberger and the “Miracle on the Hudson”.
Sully is slow paced, and relies on its psychological aspect to draw in viewers. Based on true events, this story is truly a challenging one to capture on film, however director Clint Eastwood helped it live up to its full potential. The actors are casted perfectly and solidify the film’s drama while embodying the reality of what happened that day. Hats off to the one and only Clint Eastwood, exceeding expectations and transforms the infamous day into new and intense blockbuster favorite.