Sometimes, things are exactly what you expect them to be….
Plane which is in theatres today, is a serviceable entry in the Gerard Butler playbook as we get 107 minutes of his every man character navigating his way out of an impossible situation.
Pilot Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) saves his passengers from a lightning strike by making a risky landing on a war-torn island – only to find that surviving the landing was just the beginning. When most of the passengers are taken hostage by dangerous rebels, the only person Torrance can count on for help is Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), an accused murderer who was being transported by the FBI. In order to rescue the passengers, Torrance will need Gaspare’s help, and will learn there’s more to Gaspare than meets the eye.
Coming from a well-worn playbook of filmmaking, Plane is an enjoyable but familiar piece of action cinema that manages to lean more on the ‘every man’ nature of the cinematic image that Gerard Butler has cultivated for himself rather than ‘action hero’ archetype that we’ve become used to in the Insert Name Here Has Fallen films.
Director Jean-Francois Richet who has more than likely come out of the wake of the Luc Besson school of filmmaking is certainly a serviceable hand at composing a visual story as it all looks pretty good staying within a safe range of other films that have come before it as it apes some visual notes from action films like The Raid and even some 70’s disaster movies to give it all some genuine movement. Even things when get a little too self-serious and bordering on goofy, the movie knows what it’s pace is and it keeps it going without exception.
Screenwriters Charles Cumming and J.P. Davis don’t have a ton of experience behind them but know how to write an efficient B movie action/thriller that doesn’t try to get too serious or give us any overt character driven monologues. It’s efficient and effective.
It’s getting harder and harder to genuinely knock Gerard Butler for essentially making Gerard Butler movies because let’s face it, the older he gets and the more of these he makes….he’s actually getting better at it.
He’s captured an action movie every man essence that we truly haven’t seen for years. You buy him crash landing a plane and kicking ass in the jungle, just as much as you would if you slid up next to him in bar and shared a pitcher while watching a soccer match. He makes these movies compelling with a unique mixture of swagger and humanity that makes it hard for him to do any wrong….unless he’s in a rom-com with Katherine Heigl that is.
Mike Colter is fine as our not so bad, bad guy on the plane and honestly Tony Goldwyn is barely in the movie as the high energy corporate fixer for the airline. The casting in this sucker isn’t terribly deep outside of the dreamy eyes of Mr. Butler….and it’s not supposed to be.
When all is said and done; Plane is a decent little time waster to watch on the screen of your choosing as we’re pretty certain that it’ll play just as well big as it does small with its everyman bravado that Butler uses to draw us into any scenario, no matter how silly it may get.