‘Plane’ movie review: Gerard Butler’s adrenaline-fuelled, electrifying flight

With taut action and a dizzying whirligig of thrills, Jean-François Richet’s ‘Plane’ attains cruising altitude on actor Gerard Butler’s more than capable shoulders

January 13, 2023 01:28 pm | Updated January 14, 2023 04:50 pm IST

Gerard Butler in a still from ‘Plane’

Gerard Butler in a still from ‘Plane’ | Photo Credit: Lionsgate

Are white-knuckle action movies making a comeback? Is 2023 going to be the year of the high-octane action entertainer? Spending time on the Plane with the always-watchable Gerard Butler seems to indicate a resounding yes, or rather, that is an affirmative to the above questions.

Director: Jean-François Richet
Cast: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, Daniella Pineda, Tony Goldwyn
Runtime: 107 minutes
Storyline: An emergency landing on an island turns out to be a “from the frying pan into the fire” situation for crew and passengers

Plane starts like all those disaster movies from the 70s and 80s… It is New Year’s Eve and Captain Brodie Torrance (Butler) is rushing to make his flight. Even as he is clearing security, he is promising his daughter, Daniela (Haleigh Hekking), he will make it in time to Hawaii to usher in the New Year with her.

As Torrance is doing the pre-flight checks and chatting with his crew including co-pilot Dele (Yoson An) and chief flight attendant Bonnie (Daniella Pineda), he is asked to meet an officer (Otis Winston), who is escorting a man, Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter), being extradited for murder. Uh, oh.

Then we hear of extremely bad weather on the plane’s route. Torrance’s request for an alternate flight path to avoid the storm is denied on the grounds of extra cost for the extra miles. The passengers on board are quickly introduced in broad brush strokes. There is the annoying businessman, the one with a huge following on social media, and pretty girls in shorts with cascading curls.

After takeoff, with tray tables secured and seats in the upright position, comes the bad weather. The seatbelt signs are switched back on but we know it is not just some weather, it is awful, hideous, weather and the plane is being buffeted by wind and rain. Struck by lightning, and with all sorts of dreadful things happening to the plane, Torrance uses his considerable expertise and skill to land the plane.

Wait before you let out that breath you have been holding, because, the plane has landed on an island run by extremists and one that the government has given up on. The clock is ticking as Torrance needs to keep his passengers and crew safe and away from the rebels led by the scary Junmar (Evan Dane Taylor).

The airline brings in the terrifyingly efficient Scarsdale (Tony Goldwyn) to head the rescue effort and there is his (Scarsdale’s) favourite mercenary leader, Shellback (Remi Adeleke), ready to go wheels up the minute the plane has been located — please note all the jargon that is being cunningly slipped in.

Plane runs on pure adrenaline with nary a moment to catch your breath or let your mind wander. There was not even time to think of Airplane!, Johnny, or coffee, as the action unfolds at a breathless pace. We hit the ground running and that relentless pace is kept up right till the credits roll.

Information about Torrance, that he is a widower and the reason for being turfed out of the fancy routes, is given as we sprint along. Gaspare and Torrance form their uneasy alliance amidst flying bullets, hammer blows, and flick-knives.

With taut action and a dizzying whirligig of thrills, Plane attains cruising altitude on Butler’s more than capable shoulders. Fasten your seatbelts for an electrifying flight.

Plane is currently running in theatres

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