Plot: What’s it about?
Gerard Butler is certainly becoming a reliable star these days. To be fair, he’s been in the spotlight for quite some time, but he has had a hot streak lately. Plane turns out to be a perfectly suitable role for the star, who gives a nice turn at a pilot stuck in a dire situation. I will talk more in a bit about the plot, but it shows a slightly more vulnerable side to Butler, while also letting him flex the action muscles as well. It will bring up memories of action flicks from yesteryear, with the necessary, but small modern touches.
Butler plays Brodie, an airline captain who is going to see his family in Hawaii. We get the obligatory early scenes where we meet his daughter as he face times her as he goes through security and checking in. There’s a small crew that’s joining him on the flight, and that includes a convicted felon, Louis (Mike Colter) who is being transferred to a new location. The film lets us see his threat early on as we learn that he doesn’t like his picture being taken. The guard with him puts the other crew members at ease. Unfortunately, there is some severe weather which causes the plane to make an emergency landing. The communication is shut down, and this forces Brodie to go and seek help. Brodie gets into an altercation early on and this brings Louis to his rescue. It’s here that I found Plane to really set itself apart. What I mean by that is how Louis and Brodie partner up and try to help each other. A lesser film might’ve turned him into our chief villain and turned into a cat-and-mouse game. I like that it avoided that angle.
We’re introduced to a good bit of characters here, but one of the more significant outside of Brodie and Louis is in the Tony Goldwyn character, Scarsdale. He has a special ops team to try and find the plane and create a rescue mission. There are plenty of threats around and the film does a great job at delivering the expected action, but several tense moments as well. The early plane crash is a good example of this. This will recall memories of action flicks from the 90’s with the basic premise, R rating and appropriate and fairly lean running time. I had a great time with this one. It’s a fun and involving flick that has a more than capable cast, rising to the action movie requirements.
The Bottom Line
Plane is a more than serviceable action flick, wisely leaving out the politics and a lot of what bogs down modern flicks of this sort. Butler is perfectly cast here, as well as Mike Colter. A lesser film would’ve succumbed to the clichés usually associated with these films, but thankfully they’re avoided here. Recommended.