Stars: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Valerie Mahaffey, Delphi Harrington, Mike O’Malley, Jamey Sheridan, Anna Gunn, Holt McCallany | Written by Todd Komarnicki | Directed by Clint Eastwood
If there is one thing we know about 2017, it is that it is a dark time. What we need is a glimmer of hope, something to show that there is still good out there, and surprisingly there is evidence of that in movies like Sully: Miracle on the Hudson. Though it also shows the clinical and cynical nature of the world we live in.
Sully: Miracle on the Hudson is based on the true story of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), the pilot who managed to land his plane saving all those aboard. Set in the days after the event, it delves both into Sully’s self-doubt about his actions, and the investigation that unfolded into his actions.
The paring of Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood is one that grabs the attention, and quite rightly so. Eastwood is a director that can handle this type of story and Hanks is in many ways the ultimate “nice guy” actor who is perfect to play Sully.
What is interesting about Sully: Miracle on the Hudson is the way the story is focused on the investigation. We see Sully have flashbacks to what led up to him having to land, and many times he questions his own actions, and if he did the right thing. While the fact that he saved all those on board is praise worthy, in the real world there are plenty that didn’t agree with these actions.
To understand Sully, we are given a brief look into his past, because in truth we don’t need to know that much about what happened in his past, only what happened during the event. The film also gives subtle hints as to things around the flight that may have led to him having stress. It is interesting that we are teased with facts, but never really given full truths, until we watch the featurette about the man (included on the disc).
The truth is, whether you want to call it a “miracle” or just sheer luck, this was a man who acted on instinct and got it right. The investigation we see in the movie is done in a way that doesn’t care who he saved or didn’t, it is about the cost to the airline. In many ways, it is this clinical nature of the investigation that lets the film down slightly.
Hanks plays his part well and shows the humanity behind the event. With a strong cast including Aaron Eckhart to back him up, it is easy to like Sully, and believe what he did was right. It is the cynical nature in which he was questioned that makes us doubt that the officials would believe him, and then would look to ruin him and his career for what he did. I won’t spoil the outcome, but based on the fact that this is a historical event, the news probably did that for you anyway.
Sully: Miracle on the Hudson isn’t an action-packed disaster movie, it is more a look at the human side of what could be described as a miracle. The fact all the passengers and crew survived is a true feel good story about a pilot and his colleagues who managed to do everything right and save everybody. This film celebrates that, and at a time when we need to feel good about humanity, this is a good example of how we can actually get some happy endings after all.
Sully: Miracle on the Hudson is available in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray now.