Plane (2023) Review: An Entertaining Throwback Action Thriller

It’s rare to get an action thriller in movie theaters that doesn’t have any strings attached.

Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate

A movie that isn’t trying to push a female lead in the role of a man, a film that isn’t trying to push some woke lecture disguised as cinema, and a film that doesn’t stop the story mid-film to add a LGBTQ character to please the GLAAD Lobby and Sarah Kate Ellis.

‘Plane’ is a film that is precisely what it claims to be, a film about a plane.

Gerard Butler has been in some hit or miss action movies over the last few years. The problem is when Gerard Butler’s movies miss, they like a stormtrooper with the sun in his eyes. Films such as ‘Hunter Killer’ and ‘Geostorm’ have been absolute stinkers that have soured most moviegoers from investing in the next Butler movie.

Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate

It would be a shame if audiences missed the opportunity to check out his latest film due to his past disasters because ‘Plane’ is the best movie of 2023…that has been released so far.

The film stars Butler as a commercial pilot named Brodie Torrance. Brodie is taking a small group of passengers and a prison transport on a short flight.  A massive storm in the region threatening to made things difficult for the pilots and after being struck by lightning, the flight makes an emergency landing on the island of Jolo, a remote area of the Philippines ruled by heavily armed anti-government militias.

When the local militia leader finds the passengers, he decides to take them hostage for a large ransom or else he will have them killed. With international rescue experts struggling to find their location because of the lack of comms and running out of time. Brodie is left with no choice but to team up with the convicted murderer Louis Gaspare (Mike Colter) and save the passengers before their chances of survival are toast.

Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate

20 years ago, a film like this would have given audiences an excuse to leave the house and go to a movie theater. ‘Plane’ is one of the best sleeper hits of the year. The film is a very basic concept but it manages to get all the important details of the story right.

Gerard Butler and Mike Colter make a fine duo of reluctant heroes who are tasked with the objective of protecting a small group of passengers from all around the world from the dangers of a violent and vicious militia.

The story never overcomplicates itself that it becomes hard to follow or loses the plot. The film is straight to the point, so much so it almost feels like a throwback to the type of film that you would see in the 1990s when action movies reigned King.

Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate

All of the classic tropes of action movies are here from explosions to gunfights to strong masculine protagonists. The chemistry in the film just works to the point where you’re almost disappointed that Butler and Colter don’t share enough screen time as they should.

The film’s villains have a strong presence which helps set the stage for the rest of the movie without trying to get you to sympathize with the villain’s plight.

‘Plane’ is a film that gets almost everything right to the point where it’s hard to find anything to criticize outside of a few small storytelling details. Gerard Butler may not be a leading man in Hollywood anymore but he still has enough charisma to lead a satisfying action flick.

Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate

‘Plane’ is exactly the B-movie that moviegoers need in the time when A-films are failing to deliver to their audience. It’s too early to tell whether this will be the start of a franchise, but ‘Plane’ is flying on the right path.

 

4/5

 

 

 

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