In 2008, Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger's plane was about two minutes out of La Guardia Airport when it thwacked into a flock of birds. (We’re with Eddie Izzard on this one – ‘bird strike’ is a misnomer. It’s not ‘cat strike’ when your pet is run over). Glutted on 200 Christmas dinners' worth of geese, both engines failed. Sully calculated that an attempted return to La Guardia would send the plane ploughing into a densely populated area, so he skimmed it along the surface of the river. Everyone lived.
This is the story of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, and it’s a good story. It would make a fascinating documentary, and the crash itself makes for a couple of very gripping re-enactments. Unfortunately, the budget that makes these crash scenes so immersive (and which gets Hanks and Eckhart to star in them) needs to be padded out with 'plot' in order to be a saleable feature film.
In Sully, the ground-level drama consists of an alarmingly pugnacious investigation into the validity of Sullenberger’s decision to make a water landing. Sully's competence is called into question, his reputation attacked. The actual NTSB board that conducted this investigation are reportedly appalled at how they’re represented Sully, and it’s hard to imagine that they were so snarlingly aggressive.
But die-hard Republican Eastwood finds his ideal villains in these big-government pencil-pushers, with their namby-pamby ‘computer simulations’ and outrageous disregard for the infallible instinct of American heroes. The director himself has a cameo, scowling down from a Times Square advert for his 2008 film Gran Torino, and it's easy to imagine him disgusted by all the lefties milling below.
If you're only going to see one 'true story' film starring Aaron Eckhart this week, make it Bleed for This.
|What||Sully film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
02 Dec 16 – 02 Feb 17, Times vary
|Price||£determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here for more details|