by Sarah Cook
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
No, it’s another Gerard Butler action thriller!
Butler’s career has definitely set a particular course. Whilst it didn’t start off in that manner, the Scottish actor has found a certain proclivity for leading action thrillers. Whether Butler be facing geographical disasters, portraying corrupt cops, or trying to save the President repeatedly, we’ve enjoyed his white-vest-top antics. Now he takes off with the latest action thriller Plane.
Plane revolves around an ill-fated passenger plane piloted by Captain Brodie Torrance, who hopes to make it to his daughter before New Year’s Eve. With just fourteen people aboard, some plucky cabin crew, and co-pilot Samuel Dele, it seems to be a relatively easy flight. That’s until the FBI bring an extradited murderer – Louis Gaspere – onboard. Things turn from bad to worse when the plane crashes on an island – barren of people and resources. Or, as it turns out, fully owned by militants and terrorists. When Torrance goes to find help, bringing Gaspere along, his passengers are kidnapped for ransom, and it soon becomes a battle.
There is no denying that Plane makes for an intense ride. Perhaps too intense. Like being permanently strapped into turbulence, gripping onto the armrest, or as I did, clutching desperately to the hand of the person next to me. Plane dives deep into the action pretty quickly and is relentless when it does. That can be as much of a hindrance as much as it can be exciting. The breathless and dizzying journey is both gripping and convoluted. Just look upwards at the plot – the film makes no attempt to make this story any less of a bonkers ride.
There is some questionable dialogue – such as immediately highlighting how Scottish Torrance actually is with talks of haggis and hating England – and some typical tropes that you’d expect with action films.
Through it all, however, Butler emerges with a solid performance. This isn’t an indestructible action star, Torrance is a man just trying to survive and save his passengers. Towards the end of the film, director Jean-François Richet gifts Butler a moment akin to Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips. A moment where Captain Torrance is alone with the absolute trauma that he, and his passengers, have suffered. It is a great reminder that, for all the guff that Butler has starred in, he is a formidable performer.
Mike Colter is a very muscly supporting actor whose character and arc offer literally nothing apart from a few punches and action shots. His character could’ve easily been removed, and it would’ve made the action with the captain and his passengers more engrossing.
Ultimately, Plane sticks the landing though and it is a solid action thriller to check into.
Plane is out in cinemas now