“I’ve delivered a million passengers over 40 years, but in the end I’m gonna be judged on 208 seconds.”
“The following is a guest post by The Silver Screen Mage.”
Kicking off my fifth review with the high-flying movie, Sully! You MUST go see this film! It’s incredibly engaging, intense, and powerful. Man oh man are you hit with the force of great acting, mixed with an director. I recommend this movie with no doubt that you’ll enjoy it! Go watch it!
Sully takes flight with a hero of New York who doesn’t quite feel like a hero when he is placed under investigation for his “heroic” act. This film takes you behind the scenes of Chesley Sullenberger (Sully), a flight captain who struggles with the aftermath of having to water-land an aircraft with 155 souls into the Hudson River. How could an investigation possibly be necessary when this man courageously saved the lives of 155 passengers with an aircraft that lost both of its engines in flight? That’s where the story truly gets good. You’re then presented with a well-tested theory that the airplane could have been safely landed in two different airports! You now have two compelling arguments neither of which are absurd. Yes, you love the fact that this pilot just daringly made history by being the first to ever water-land an airplane and not only survive but save the entire crew. But then you’re pulled away by the idea that there were possibly two safer options that he could have gone with that would have saved everyone and the airplane itself. This conflict really brings out a great story, and the resolution is even more compelling.
So the question is…what went right, and what went wrong with this film? This film does a great job giving you the heart and insight behind the heroes. Before watching the film, you come in with the idea of Sully being the single hero through it all. But by the end of the film you leave realizing the true heroism of the entire flight crew as well as the first responding rescue teams. You leave with a true value and appreciation for everyone involved. I love the idea of making a movie about this historical event as well. It’s a story that sincerely needed to be told! Amazing.
The only weakness of the film was stretching this story in order to make it feature length. I personally agree with the route they took in elongating this story. They took you on a first person journey through the eyes of each person involved in the water-landing. So you saw the viewpoint of the airline crew, the passengers, the rescue teams, the call center respondents, the wife and many more. But through the many viewpoints, it felt a little dragged out and forced. Upon leaving the theater, I was left with the realization that they wanted to tell this story, but there wasn’t quite enough story for a feature film.
This film is truly inspiring because it shows the depth of brotherhood through coworkers. The loyalty that Sully and Jeff have for each other is beautiful.
I loved Jeff! You’ll love Jeff! He’s got this subtle firecracker in him that goes off a few times. He has the perfect characteristics of a sidekick. He’s the comedic relief, the sound voice at times, and the inner voice that speaks out what you’re thinking. He’s hands down my favorite character in this film. Thumbs up for Jeff!
Sully is almost too angelic! Doesn’t smoke, raise his voice, or boast in his victory. He’s truly the perfect man for this job. That’s certainly our initial thought. But he’s human just like everyone of us, and the portrayal of that was very clear. From family issues, to self-doubt, to sleep deprivation, they show it! It allows you to see the man inside the hero. Which is inspiring because by showing that side, it now makes his accomplishment reachable for the average Joe. You never know what life will throw at you, and if you’re honest and hard working then you can also save lives.
Lastly, you have the main antagonist. The villain of the story who is out to discredit the heroic act of a 155, unharmed, surviving, engine-less, air craft water-landing. I’m not sure how truly heartless, and tunnel-visioned the real Charles Porter was, but it made for great conflict! He’s extremely distasteful and shows no empathy towards the truth that lives were saved. His job and number one focus was to prove that there were not only one, but two alternative safer landing zones Sully could have went to. I truly enjoyed his character for movie purposes, but for the sake of his real life character, I hope his viciousness was embellished.
Let’s jump into…
The 8-bit Review
Visually, this film hit its mark. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was a great experience. I want to touch on a few effects that impressed me.
The matching of the film stars with the actual civilians was done very well. Take a look at the two main characters beside the people they portrayed. It was wonderfully done. The transformation is very minimal but effective. Great job!
Another visual aspect of this film I sincerely enjoyed was the water-landing and rescue scenes. It felt very real and even put a little bit of fear for flying in you. It was done excellently. I’ve attached a few photos for those scenes as well.
I feel terrible giving audio such a low score, but I didn’t hear much. I did feel like this was a movie with a mixture of a documentary-feel. Therefore, it was very hard to judge the audio aspect of the film. There were a few piano melodies that were heard, but I didn’t catch much more than that. My only issue is that I felt like they could have done so much musically with this. A nice, consistent, sorrowful yet uplifting winds and strings melody would have been incredible. Here’s the thing: the movie was stretched and showed a lot of the same scenes through different points of views, right? Within those point of views, there could have been a certain melody that brings us back to the end result (the water-landing). Through the doubt, fear, scared conversation, and the surviving of the crash, I would have thrown in a nice melody that would have become familiar even after the film was over. For me, it was just missed potential. Sad.
Like I said above, this film hit every point of view for every area of the event. It was a brilliant way of stretching this important incident into a feature film. I didn’t see any error for this category. This film even went as far as to let you into the lives of a few passengers. Very cool and interesting at the same time.
Family Friendliness: 8/10
When it comes to “who to bring” to this movie, I’d vote for a more mature crowd. The film does have quite a few patches of slowness which could lead to bit of snoring or ants in your pants. Overall, it’s great for all ages due to lack of excessive profanity, inappropriate moments, or violence.
I have no idea where to even begin when it comes to the substance of this movie! You’ve got loyalty from Sully’s First Captain, Jeff. Jeff, without a doubt, was 110% on Sully’s side which gave you such comfort in knowing he doesn’t have to face this alone. You also have work ethics that are given a great value. You never know when preparation will meet opportunity in your life, and Sully was a great example of a studious employee who was the right man for the job. Man oh man, there are so many more life messages in this film, but the last I’ll touch on is humility after heroism. How embarrassing would it have been for Sully to go around boasting and broadcasting what he had just done, only for the public to find out he is being investigated for possibly making the wrong decision. In life, it pays to be humble because it is so rare that people are drawn to it. I believe that’s another reason why this film was made. I hope that this movie left you with some type of message in your life.
There was conflict after conflict in this film! And I loved it! The major conflict was the fact that we had a heroic act that was done that could have possibly been avoided. How much more conflicting can you get? You stop a bank robbery, but then you’re confronted with the idea that the way you stopped it could have been done differently and more safely. It’s a terrible reality that occurs all of the time, and one that is completely necessary. At the end of the day, there are people who have the occupation of preventative maintenance. That concept was wonderfully shown in this film. Great great job!
Have we seen this film before? Surprisingly, not to this extent. The only reason it didn’t hit the 10 mark is due to extending of the plot. By extending the story so much, it started to lose its originality. Therefore, you get major points on detail and character development, but you sink a tad on the entertainment side. Overall, I did walk out of this film feeling like they did the best they could for originality with what they had to work with.
My Personal Grade: 8/10
I loved the movie! I saw it twice, which was a bittersweet experience for me. I got to see a lot more detail within the movie. But on the other hand, I saw a lot of moments that seemed to be dragged out a tad. I also wasn’t too happy with the musical aspect of the film either. But those two categories were a very small portion of the main idea to me. Overall, it had a great quality to the movie and that’s what I wanted to see. You were left with many paths of substance along with incredible character portrayal. I say: go see it! Support great movies like these in order to grow as an individual.
I’m honored to have been able to share my thoughts and opinions about this film. If this impacts one person then it was all worth it. Please stay tuned for more reviews I’ll be doing.
–Silver Screen Mage out
Aggregated Score: 8.1
Did you enjoy this post? Consider becoming a Warrior of Light and join us in restoring integrity and quality to entertainment journalism. We specialize in long-form, analytical reviews and we aim to expand into a podcast and webzine with paid contributors! See our Patreon page for more info!
Categories: Movie Review