High-Flying Adventure: a Thrilling Homage to Classic Action Flicks
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 47m
Director(s): Jean-François Richet
Writer(s): Charles Cumming (screenplay by,) J.P. Davis (screenplay by)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Yoson An, Tony Goldwyn
Where To Watch: 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD, & On Demand on March 28 from Lionsgate®
RAVING REVIEW: PLANE is a fun action flick that knows what it is, offering viewers a memorable and thrilling cinematic experience. The film takes itself seriously while also knowing that it can lean heavily into the action film tropes of the 90s while still being able to be enjoyed. PLANE is anything but plain!
Drawing inspiration from real-life events such as the disappearance of flight MH370, PLANE centers its narrative around its passengers on a flight that goes wrong. Gerard Butler returns to the action genre as Brodie Torrance, who breathes life into this film style by expertly balancing physical prowess with emotional vulnerability.
The movie maintains a breakneck pace, treating viewers to action sequences that are both engaging and easy to follow. Although the plot may seem straightforward, the emotional depth portrayed by the exceptional cast adds complexity and richness to the story. PLANE is one of those films you don’t have to put too much thought into; you can sit back and just enjoy it for what it is.
The storyline follows Torrance, a fearless pilot forced to make an emergency landing on a dangerous island after encountering some severe weather. Tasked with protecting his passengers from hostile rebels (which, unfortunately, are a little too stereotypical at times,) he forms an unlikely alliance with a passenger, who proves invaluable in the rescue mission. The film intertwines action, suspense, and character development throughout the story, ultimately making the film fun and serving its purpose in telling this story.
Clocking in at under two hours, PLANE leaves audiences yearning for more. I turned off my TV after the credits rolled, and I would’ve sworn it didn’t clock in over an hour. The pacing was incredibly well-balanced, unfolding in three distinct acts. I didn’t look at my phone or check how much time was remaining once during the film, which says something on its own.
With its gritty charm evocative of 1990s action movies, PLANE pays tribute to the genre films that have come before it. While it may not redefine the genre, the film honors its roots while offering a solid new entry.
The film's diverse and memorable cast of characters each brings their unique attributes to the table. However, the second lead of the film Mike Colter who plays Louis Gaspare needs to be more developed and underused. While his role was vital, I would have liked to see him fleshed out more. I would have also wanted to see Co-Pilot Samuel Dele (played by Yoson An) have more to do onscreen.
The narrative follows a well-trodden path typical of classic disaster films, with the heroes facing escalating challenges. Airplane landing gear as a weapon is a very underused idea that is so much fun. Okay, that may be sarcasm, as I’ve seen before, but the wink and nod in the film make it even better.
With intense shootouts, solid adversaries, and fun action sequences, PLANE is a surefire hit for fans of classic action movies. Director Jean-Francois Richet demonstrates his understanding of blending suspense and action, crafting an old-fashioned adventure. By wholeheartedly embracing clichés, he produces an enjoyable and entertaining film.
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[film courtesy of Kenneth Rexach/LIONSGATE]