Art & Entertainment

‘Plane’ On Lionsgate Play Movie Review: Gerard Butler’s Actioner Misses Out On The Pins And Needles Thrill

Gerard Butler starrer ‘Plane’ has finally release on Lionsgate Play after having a decently good run at the theatres earlier this year. Is the film worth your time? Read the full movie review to find out.

A Still From 'Plane'
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‘Plane’: Cast & Crew

Director: Jean-François Richet

Cast: Gerard Butler, Mike Colter, Tony Goldwyn, Yoson An, Evan Dane Taylor, Paul Ben-Victor, Daniella Pineda, Lilly Krug, Kelly Gale, Joey Slotnick

Available On: Lionsgate Play

Duration: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

‘Plane’: Story

Pilot Brodie Torrance (Gerard Butler) saves 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 dangerous rebels take most of the passengers as a hostage, 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 that same flight. Will Torrance be able to save the passengers? Will Gaspare help Torrance? Or will Gaspare take advantage of the situation and escape? Will Gaspare take sides with the rebels and help them in taking the passengers hostage? Will the hostages be able to fight back? Well, for all that, you’ll have to watch the film.

‘Plane’: Performances

Mike Colter may have a smaller screen time than Gerard Butler, but he steals the scene every time he is on. Not only did he manage to get the physicality right of a murder-convicted ex-army man, but he also managed to bring on that attitude to the best. He talks less but speaks with his eyes. His emotions pierce through the screens, and make you want to see more and more of his performance. Hopefully, we will get to see more of his character in a spin-off.

Gerard Butler undoubtedly needs to shift gears and move away from the action-thriller genre. Why can’t he go back to doing a ‘PS I Love You’ sort of film once again? Even if he wants to do action, why not turn the tables and be the bad guy for once? Or do something like a ‘300’, which had a lot of gravitas to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he isn’t good in action, but it, kind of, has become repetitive. You know that he is going to save the day at the end of the movie, but after so many action-thrillers, you sort of even know his moves when he is fighting. You know the way he is going to hold a gun and point at the bad guys. You know how he is going to run amidst a chaotic gun shooting. You even know the spots when he will stand or sit in order to catch a breath and sigh a sense of relief. So, it’s become too predictable. However, leaving the predictability aside, Butler does carry the weight of the film on his shoulders. He manages to do considerably well in the action sequences. The good part is that the character does have a considerable arc where he starts off as a normal pilot, but ends up being the saviour of the film. To make it even more cheesy, he does end up the film with the dialogue ‘Mission Accomplished’. Could it have been any cockier?

The rest of the supporting cast doesn’t have enough screen time to be able to showcase their acting prowess.

‘Plane’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The writing by Charles Cumming and JP Davis indeed begins with a great one-liner of a plot. Sadly, it’s just that, and there are just a bunch of action sequences stitched together. Right after the part when you get to know that the plane has landed on an island which is run by rebel groups, who might take the passengers, hostage, you knew instantly what would happen next. Every move post that point was fully predictable, and you knew what was coming. Thankfully Cumming and Davis didn’t end up killing the lead, which would have just catapulted him to godly status. The screenplay is indeed the sore thumb in the film, and as I always say, some plots are great one-liners, but not that great when fleshed out into a full-fledged script.

Jean-François Richet manages to salvage the sinking writing through his brilliance in direction. The action sequences were indeed top-notch. You do end up getting the necessary thrill and are constantly on the edge of your seat thinking whether or not they would be able to survive. Keeping the story gripping till the very end was definitely tough, in such a predictable storyline, but yet Richet manages to keep the viewers hooked. Good job there.

Brendan Galvin’s cinematography also is praiseworthy. The way he has shot the action sequences makes them come alive and it feels like you’re watching it unfold in real in front of your eyes. Some of the in-flight shots definitely could have had a bit more depth. Even the usage of a bit of slow-motion amidst the flight’s crash sequence or the bullet-firing climax could have brought out his talent even better.

David Rosenbloom’s editing is also on point. He manages to keep the movie short and doesn’t deviate from the very basic plot of the story. There are hardly any backstories shown, hardly any emotional family calls or montage shots are shown – thereby keeping things quite realistic and timewise, crisp.

Marco Beltrami and Marcus Trumpp’s music and background score are also decent. The score definitely brings the little nuances of a densely forested island. The gun battle in the climax had some terrific sound design and so were the in-flight sequences of the plane crash. Subtle, yet very effective.

‘Plane’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Plane’ promises to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller but misses the mark slightly. Gerard Butler just needs to do a film or two in a different genre so as to cleanse the audience’s palette before he returns to the action-thriller genre again. He looks repetitive. Otherwise, the story was definitely a great one-liner plot but as a film, couldn’t just make it too gripping as it ended up with cliched predictable scenes. However, with all its fallacies, for people looking for some thrill, this is definitely a good pick this week. It’s an Average Watch. I am going with 2.5 stars.

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